When to self-isolate and what to do

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Coronavirus updates

When to self-isolate and what to do


self isolate

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19).

This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

Self-isolation is different to:

  • social distancing – general advice for everyone to avoid close contact with other people
  • shielding – advice for people at high risk from COVID-19

When to self-isolate

Self-isolate immediately if:

How to self-isolate

Do not:

  • go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • go on public transport or use taxis
  • go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

how rot self isolate

When to get a test

Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) as soon as possible if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

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 8 days of having symptoms.

Get a PCR test to check if you have COVID-19 on GOV.UK


Help and support while you're staying at home

While you're self-isolating:

  • you can get help with everyday tasks, like collecting shopping or medicines, from an NHS volunteer
  • you might be able to get sick pay or other types of financial support if you're not able to work

Find out about support if you're self-isolating

COVID-19 useful information

Full information is available on our website.


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