Self-isolation: what do I need to know?
You might be told to self-isolate but are unsure of what will be required of you. In this article, we summarise guidance from the NHS on self-isolation and the steps to take.
What is self-isolation?
The NHS explains that self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus. This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.
You must self-isolate immediately if:
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- you’ve tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
- you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive
- someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
- you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
- You arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk – see GOV.UK: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK
How to self-isolate?
You must not leave your home if you’re self-isolating.
- Do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
- Do not go on public transport or use taxis
- Do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
- Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
- Do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one
When to get a test?
Get a test as soon as possible if you have any symptoms of coronavirus. The symptoms are:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
The test needs to be done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
You do not need to get a test if you have no symptoms or if you have different symptoms.
How long do I need to self-isolate?
If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days. You’ll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:
- Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
- Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
- You’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
Read more about how long to self-isolate.
If you are currently self-isolating and are concerned about returning to school you can contact us for further support and advice.
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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
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