By James Tapsfield, Political Editor
Published: 12:55 GMT, 26 October 2020 | Updated: 12:55 GMT, 26 October 2020
Matt Hancock today fuelled hopes that coronavirus self-isolation will be slashed to seven days - pointing out France already has a lower timescale.
The Health Secretary insisted that the decision on whether to cut the quarantine period for those who come into contact with infected individuals from 14 days would be 'entirely led by the clinical science'.
He played down the idea that the reduction was needed because Britons were flouting instructions from contact tracers to stay at home, praising testing tsar Baroness Harding despite Tory calls for her to quit.
But he said France had reduced the amount of time people have to isolate based on scientific guidance.
Matt Hancock (pictured right with chef Prue Leith on a visit to a hospital in Berkshire today) fuelled hopes that coronavirus self-isolation will be slashed to seven days - pointing out France already has a lower timescale
'It isn't about the compliance issue. It's about the overall clinical judgment of what time is required for isolation,' Mr Hanock told Sky News.
'Obviously I'd rather have isolation as short as is reasonably possible because of the impact it has on people's lives, but it must be safe.'
The government's Covid-19 taskforce is understood to be considering slashing self-isolation for those who come into contact with infected individuals to between a week and 10 days.
Concerns have been rising that people are failing to cooperate with Test & Trace due to the prospect of a lengthy period unable to work or go out.
The quarantine changes - which could come into force within weeks but would not apply to those who test positive for