Anyone with coronavirus symptoms told to stay at home

The UK's response to tackling the Covid-19 outbreak has moved to the second 'delay phase'.

Anyone with coronavirus  symptoms told to stay at home Getty Images

Anybody with a fever or a persistent cough is being told to stay at home from tomorrow in new coronavirus guidance to the public.

Nicola Sturgeon was speaking after taking part in a Cobra meeting with the UK Government which agreed to move the UK to the second “delay phase” of its response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

It comes after cases of coronavirus in Scotland jumped from 34 to 60 in a day.

The delay phase shifts the joint UK approach towards slowing down the spread of coronavirus and reducing numbers infected at the peak.

Speaking in Edinburgh on Thursday, the First Minister confirmed two of the new cases were community-transmitted, meaning the patients had no contact with known cases and had not been travelling in a coronavirus-affected hotspot.

The first case of community transmission was confirmed on Wednesday, a development considered a sign of a wider outbreak.

Sturgeon said another key focus of the refined approach will be to protect the groups in society that early data suggests are particularly vulnerable to the virus, like the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

From Friday, anyone with symptoms indicative of coronavirus, including fever and a persistent cough, should self-isolate for seven days, she said.

She said unless symptoms do not clear up within a few days, or anyone infected is deteriorating, they do not need to call their GP or NHS24.

The FM added there will not be routine tests on everyone who has coronavirus symptoms, but surveillance will continue.

Sturgeon also said overseas school trips will be cancelled although schools and universities will remain open for now.

In another move, mass gatherings of 500 people or more will be banned in Scotland from Monday.

The First Minister said a clear definition of what constitutes such a gathering will be provided, but the advice relates to events that potentially have an impact on emergency services.

She said would not consider church services in that way, but football or rugby matches – due to their size and need for dedicated policing and ambulance services – should be reconsidered.

She said: “Progressively, the next few weeks are going to have services under acute pressure.

“I feel an obligation to remove as many unnecessary burdens as I can.”

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