Pregnant women have been told they should self-isolate at home for at least three months from the weekend because they are among the most at risk from Coronavirus.
The UK Government have added pregnant women to the list of most ‘at risk’ people, along with the elderly and those with health conditions.
Officials said the measure was ‘for precaution’ because it is too early to say whether Coronavirus poses a threat to pregnant women.
Generally pregnant women are more likely to catch an infection than women who are not pregnant.
There is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted via the womb or through breast milk.
He said: ‘In a few days time, by this coming weekend it will be necessary to go further and to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks.
‘Again, the reason for doing this in the next few days rather than earlier or later is that this is going to be very disruptive for people who have such conditions.
‘This advice about avoiding all social contact is particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions.’
England’s chief medical doctor Professor Chris Whitty said extending the advice to pregnant women was a precaution.