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Statement from the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers on an update to coronavirus symptoms


From today, all individuals should self-isolate if they develop at least one of the following coronavirus symptoms:

  • a new continuous cough
  • fever
  • loss of smell or taste (anosmia)

Anosmia is the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked. 

We have been closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on COVID-19 and after thorough consideration, we are now confident enough to recommend this new measure.

The individual’s household should also self-isolate for 14 days as per the current guidelines and the individual should stay at home for 7 days, or longer if they still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton
Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith
Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty



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