QUARANTINE periods could be extended after studies showed the Kent Covid strain was infectious for longer, the deputy chief medical officer suggested last night.
Jenny Harries said ministers were looking closely at fresh studies which revealed some people were infectious for up to 13 days – compared to eight for the old variant.
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At the moment people have to stay inside for 10 days when they come into the UK from a series of ‘red list’ countries, but there are fears this may no longer be enough to stop the disease from spreading.
Ms Harries said the Government were looking closely at the issue and whether quarantine may need to be changed.
She told the Downing Street press conference last night: “We look at the different variants regularly, we have variants of interest and variants of concern, those are being monitored.
“You’ll be aware that the UK has probably the best genomics functionality in the world.
“Different studies will come out with slightly different periods… we manage the length of time for quarantine to minimise the inconvenience to individuals but still reduce the risk of onward infection.
“And so, yes we are looking at this, but we need to be really careful. The time you detect the virus doesn’t mean it is the infectious period.”
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