People who have a cold or the flu should stay at home and self-isolate ‘for a few days’, one of the UK’s leading scientists has suggested.
Sir Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said the coronavirus crisis should prompt the nation to ‘think about how we behave as a society’ when people are ill.
He said ‘we probably need to move to a position’ where anyone who has a viral infection self-isolates to prevent making other people sick.
The comments came as the UK struggles with the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Current coronavirus rules in England, Wales and Northern Ireland state that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 must quarantine for a period of seven days.
They can then leave self-isolation if they test negative on days six and seven. It is 10 days in Scotland.
The current surge in Covid cases combined with the self-isolation rules is putting pressure on key services because a significant proportion of the workforce is having to stay at home.
There are growing calls from business leaders and MPs for the Government to cut the self-isolation period to just five days but ministers have so far insisted they are sticking with the seven day rule.
Sir Frank told Times Radio yesterday that the coronavirus crisis should prompt a discussion about how people behave in the future when they have a cold or the flu.