Weekdays | 6am-9am

Dr. Hilary Jones answers the most important questions on the government's coronavirus response

Boris Johnson yesterday announced the government was escalating its response to the coronavirus outbreak by moving from the 'contain' phase to 'delay'.

All elite football in the UK has been suspended until April 3 at the earliest as the country begins to step up its prevention measures.

The government is also advising anyone showing flu-like symptoms to self-isolate for seven days.

The government's chief scientific and medical advisors explained the efforts should 'flatten' the peak of the coronavirus outbreak and spread out the impact over a long period.

What does moving from contain to delay actually mean?

Good Morning Britain's resident medical expert Dr. Hilary Jones says the country should prepare for an already 'widespread transmission' among the public.

The escalation from contain to delay will see many more people self-isolating and more significant precautions implemented.

Dr. Hilary says: 'With containment we are trying to isolate people who may have been in contact with the virus as much as possible, protecting them from spreading the disease in the wider public.

'With the delay phase we accept there is widespread transmission of the virus within the public already and therefore we are trying to delay the implications for the NHS.

'That means reducing risk as much as possible, getting people to socially distance themselves from other people. Get people to work from home if they possibly can. Certainly not visiting people if you have any symptoms.

'That’s the delay phase and in truth these two phases work concurrently.'

Should anyone be travelling abroad?

Donald Trump has suspended all travel to the US from European countries, excluding the UK and Ireland, for 30 days.

The British Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to both Italy and Spain.

Dr. Hilary says people deciding whether to travel abroad should assess their own trips on a case-by-case basis.

He says: 'With travel abroad it depends on your state of health, it depends on the importance of your journey, it depends on what the foreign office are saying, it depends on your destination.

'I certainly wouldn’t be going to any destinations that have got large number of cases, but there are places in the world with relatively few cases and I suppose one way of looking at it is that you can pick up some bargains for first class travel right now.

'If you are a young, fit and healthy person then your risk, if you get this virus, is relatively low. You’re going to recover.'

How will the situation change in the next seven days?

Dr. Hilary says the country needs to realise that we are on the same trajectory as Italy and should all be taking extra precaution to socially distance ourselves with any vulnerable persons.

He says: 'We need to bear in mind we are on the same trajectory as Italy have been so in two weeks time we will be where Italy is now.

'They have a lot of cases, they have a significant mortality rate particularly in old and vulnerable people and people with pre-existing conditions so we have to try to delay the virus spreading to the population as much as possible.

'That means self-isolating when we have symptoms or have come into contact with somebody who has tested positive. It means social distancing, being sensible, being reasonable, being mindful of the fact that the more people you come into contact with, the greater your risk.

'We should be 1 metre away from people and minimise your contact with people you don’t know and don’t visit elderly people if you have any symptoms at all.'

Weekdays | 6am-9am