Idris Elba has coronavirus, urges fans to be vigilant

British actor Idris Elba now counts himself among the thousands worldwide who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

"This morning I got some test results back for coronavirus and it came back positive," the actor said in a video posted on Twitter, adding "yeah, and it sucks."

Elba said he was tested because he was exposed to another person who tested positive for the virus Friday, saying he got a test "immediately," and quarantined himself while awaiting the results.

"There are people out there who aren't showing symptoms and that can easily spread it. So now is the real time to be really vigilant about washing your hands and keeping your distance," Elba said, echoing advice from the health officials around the world.

British authorities on Monday dramatically ramped up measures to combat the new coronavirus, urging all U.K. residents to avoid unnecessary contact with others and telling people in the most vulnerable groups to stay at home for three months.

Authorities said people over 70, those with chronic illnesses and pregnant women should be “shielded” from social contacts for 12 weeks, starting this weekend.

The U.K. had previously resisted taking some of the tough measures seen in other European countries, which have banned large events, shut schools and closed their borders to slow the spread of the COVID-19 illness.

But Johnson said Monday the number of U.K. cases was starting to rise rapidly and "without drastic action" they could double every five or six days. As of Monday, Britain had 1,543 confirmed cases and 53 virus-related deaths.

British authorities now say if anyone in a household has a fever or persistent cough, everyone there should stay at home for 14 days.

The Associated Press contribute to this report.