More than 80% of people in Britain are not adhering to self-isolation guidelines when they have COVID-19 symptoms or had contact with someone who has tested positive, a study has found. A majority were also unable to identify the symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The research raises major questions about the effectiveness of England's Test and Trace program as Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to keep a lid on rising infection numbers with new restrictions.
The research, led by King's College London, found that only 18.2% of people who reported having symptoms of COVID-19 in the last seven days had not left home since the symptoms developed, and only 11.9% requested a COVID-19 test.
It also found that only 10.9% of people told by the NHS Test and Trace scheme to self-isolate after close contact with a COVID-19 case had done so for 14 days as required.
The government last week introduced fines of up to £10,000 (US$12,780) for breaking self-isolation rules, and are offering a £500 support payment to low-paid workers who lose income from quarantining.