People who test positive for coronavirus or display symptoms must now self-isolate for 10 days.

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned of a “second wave starting to roll across Europe”.

A joint statement by the UK Chief Medical Officers said evidence said that those who have coronavirus "have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset".

They added: “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.

“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 7 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.”

However, they said the evidence showing that people who have Covid-19 are still infectious 7 to 9 days after the illness onset is "limited".

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned a second wave of the coronavirus is "rolling" across Europe.

“I am worried about a second wave. 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,” Matt Hancock told Sky News.

“So, absolutely, on a second wave it is something I worry about and I worry about it because we can see it happening.”