Self-isolation: what do I need to know?
The majority of Covid restrictions have been removed in English schools. Rules have also been eased elsewhere in the UK, but some measures are being retained for the moment.
Staff and students without symptoms in England are no longer asked to test for Covid twice-weekly. Secondary school pupils also don’t need to wear masks. The legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive test is also being removed, although it is still recommended.
The information in the support article below was current at the time it was published. You may still find it useful for reference purposes.
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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