SCOTLAND’S Covid-19 self-isolation period has been extended from seven to 10 days.

The decision to extend the length of time those with coronavirus symptoms or a positive test result has been taken by all four of the UK’s chief medical officers.

The new advice, in line with World Health Organization guidelines, is reportedly an attempt to avoid a second wave of the virus emerging in the UK – with fears another spike has spread in several European countries and others across the globe.

Until now, those symptomatic of Covid-19 have had to self-isolate for at least a week.

A statement, on behalf of Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, along with his English counterpart, Professor Chris Whitty, Dr Michael McBride from Northern Ireland and Dr Frank Atherton from Wales, confirmed the decision.

It said: “In symptomatic people, Covid-19 is most infectious just before and for the first few days after symptoms begin. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.

“Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with Covid who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between seven and nine days after illness onset.”

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It added: “We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from seven to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.

“This will help provide additional protection to others in the community. This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission.”