I've been told to self-isolate. What do I need to do?
The following groups of people are still required to self-isolate, should they be identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 PCR test result:
- Those who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination
- Those who have not received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccination
- Those who have received their second dose within the last 14 days
- Those who have tested positive following a PCR test
- Those who have been fully vaccinated and are displaying COVID-19 symptoms (ahead of getting a PCR test)
You must stay home at all times. This means:
- You cannot go to the shops or take daily exercise outside the home. If you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off. Alternatively you can call us on 0800 234 6084
- Do not have social visitors, including friends and family or non-essential in-house services and repairs during the self-isolation period
- Try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
- Essential care should continue in line with guidance. Routine, face to face, medical and dental appointments should be postponed while you are self-isolating. For medical advice if your health is worsening, contact NHS111
- If there is a medical emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999. Inform the call handler or operator that you or someone in your household has Covid-19 or symptoms
Your 10-day isolation will start after either:
- The day that your symptoms started, or the day of the test if you had no symptoms
- The day you were last in contact with the person who tested positive for coronavirus (unless you are not required to self-isolate)
When you do not need to self-isolate
*As of 16 August, you will no longer be required to self-isolate after close contact with a positive case of Covid-19 if you are not showing symptoms and if;
- you are fully vaccinated (14 days have passed since your final dose of a Covid-19 vaccine given by the NHS).
- you are under 18.
In addition, those who have been part of an official vaccine trial or cannot have the vaccine for medical reasons will no longer need to self-isolate if they are a contact of someone with Covid-19.
Even if you do not have symptoms and are fully vaccinated you will be advised, as now, to take a PCR test as soon as possible, to find out if you have the virus and you may also want to consider:
- limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
- wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you are unable to maintain social distancing
- limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
- taking part in regular LFD testing
If you were isolating as a contact of someone who tested positive and then you develop symptoms yourself, your 10 days restarts from the day after your symptoms started - this will mean you're self-isolating for longer than 10 days overall.
If you live with other people and anyone in your household tests positive, everyone has to self-isolate and follow this guidance (unless you have been fully vaccinated or are under 18).
It may be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others in their household, the person who tests positive should:
- Stay in their room and isolate from the rest of the household
- Spend as little time as possible in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas
- Avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens and other living areas while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat
- Use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household where possible. If a separate bathroom is not available, clean the area after you have used it
- You should use separate towels from other household members, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for drying your hands
- Keep your room well-ventilated by opening a window to the outside
- Use a face covering or a surgical mask when spending time in shared areas inside your home to minimise the risk of spread to others
For more information see Self-isolation and treating coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms - NHS (www.nhs.uk)