A HEALTH chief has advised employers to pay staff who are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has sent guidance to UK employers telling them staff who are housebound after coming into contact with the illness are entitled to sick leave.

This comes after holidaymakers returning to the UK from quarantined Italian towns were told to self-isolate, even if they do not show symptoms of coronavirus.

The country has seen an outbreak of the illness with the number of cases rising to more than 400 in the last week.

But the law states that if you do not go to work and are not ill, it is possible you will not be paid.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service said it is “good practice” for employers to treat time in self-isolation as sick leave or holiday.

But a spokesman for the group added: “Otherwise there’s a risk the employee will come to work because they want to get paid.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “People who are prevented from working because of a risk to public health are able to claim universal credit.”

She said they may also be entitled to contributory employment and support allowance, which helps with living costs for people who cannot work because of a health condition.

If you do display symptoms, you can claim statutory sick pay - £94.25 per week - and can be paid for up to 28 weeks.

Today it was revealed that all five coronavirus confirmed in Brighton and Hove have been given the all-clear.

The outbreak in the city was successfully contained with those believed to have come into contact with the five patients being asked to self-isolate.

This followed Hove resident Steve Walsh contracting the virus during a business conference in Singapore.

He returned to Sussex on January 28 and was diagnosed soon afterwards.

Today, two further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total number of UK cases to 15.

A Healthwatch Brighton and Hove spokesman said: “No new cases have been identified in Brighton.

“The patients in question have been transferred to specialist infection centres in Liverpool and London.

“The risk to individuals remains low.

“Students from two schools in Brighton have recently returned from Italy, which has seen an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“In both cases, the students were estmimated to be 140 miles from Italian towns that have been placed in ‘lockdown’.

“The risk to students and staff on the ski trip is low. Of course, pupils, parents and staff are being asked to be vigilant.

“Tests for coronavirus are being increased in the UK to include people displaying flu-like symptoms at 100 GP surgeries and eight hospitals across the UK, which includes our local Trust - Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals.

“This is to monitor the emerging situation, and not because of any perceived heightened risk.”