People who test positive for the novel coronavirus or show symptoms in the United Kingdom must now self-isolate for at least 10 days, rather than seven, it was announced by the country's chief medical officers on Thursday.
England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, updated the isolation guidance for the entire United Kingdom and was effective immediately.
The UK's chief medical officers say the change is needed because of a "low but real possibility of infectiousness" for longer than previously thought.
The change will come into effect immediately.More news: Time jobless claims drop again
"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", the CMOs said.
Britain's updated guidance is in line with France, where the self-isolation period for people who test positive is set at eight days plus two days without symptoms - a total of 10 days.
Boris Johnson is said to be "extremely concerned" about a second wave in the UK.
"We want to do everything we possibly can to protect people here", Hancock told the BBC. "I think you can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe and we've got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores and to tackle it", Hancock told Sky News. "We're prepared to take that action to keep people here safe".More news: Taylor Swift releases new acoustic version of 'cardigan'
But Hancock also hinted that ministers are working on ways to reduce the current quarantine period for new arrivals to the United Kingdom from 14 days, amid pressure from the tourism industry.
According to a report by The Times, the government's Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance warned No10 that the United Kingdom could be following in the footsteps of countries like Spain, which has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Mr Hancock said he was not against testing people at the border but more work was needed on the timing of Covid-19 tests to make them effective.More news: PM Trudeau to be in hot seat over WE Charity affair