COVID-19 Self-isolation information


The government advice is you need to self-isolate if:

  • you have any COVID-19 symptoms (the symptoms are a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell)
  • you or someone in your household are waiting for a test result
  • you or someone in your household are waiting for a test result
  • you or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19
  • you’re notified by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app that you could be at risk of having coronavirus because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has the virus.

What is self-isolation and how long should I isolate for?

Self-isolation means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people. In practical terms, this means that you must:

  • Stay at home
  • not go to work, school or to public areas
  • not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis
  • avoid visitors to your home
  • ask friends, local family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you – such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping.

How long you will need to self-isolate for depends on your situation.

You must isolate for 10 days

If you have any coronavirus symptoms you must isolate immediately for 10 days (don’t wait for a test or a test result before doing so). After 10 days it’s unlikely you will still be infectious, so you can then leave your home, following the general guidance on staying alert and safe.

You must isolate for 14 days

If you are identified as a contact of someone who has coronavirus you must isolate for 14 days. If someone in your household has the virus, you need to continue to self-isolate for 14 days from the point that household member first developed symptoms. If you’ve been identified as the close contact of someone outside your household who has the virus, you need to self-isolate until 14 days after your last contact with them. This is because you are at risk of developing COVID-19 for 14 days. Even if you never develop symptoms, you can still be infected and pass the virus on without knowing it.

If you do have a negative test during this time, you still need to self-isolate for the full period. This is because you could still develop COVID-19 and pass it on to other people. It is important that everyone understands that a negative test result during your self-isolation does NOT mean you can stop self-isolating early. You could put other people at risk of catching the virus if you do.

Legal duty to self-isolate came into force 28th September 2020.

For further information click here