Help if you’re self-isolating
Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have COVID-19.
You are legally required to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. You could be fined if you do not self-isolate.
This means you must 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, by phone or ask someone to drop 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
This helps to stop the virus spreading to other people.
Self-isolation is different from:
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are already self-isolating, you should get tested immediately.
- high temperature
- a continuous or new cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
When to self-isolate
You should self-isolate if you:
- test positive from either a rapid test (lateral flow) or lab processed test (PCR test), whether or not you have symptoms
- are told you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- have been told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service or the NHS COVID-19 app
- live in a household where others (including children) develop symptoms, or they have tested positive
- are told you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- have symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19 and are waiting for a test result
View the NHS website for more information on how long to self-isolate.
Keep self-isolating if you feel unwell
Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:
- a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
- a runny nose or sneezing
- feeling or being sick
Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.
Stop self-isolating after 10 days if you feel OK
You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if either:
- you do not have any symptoms
- you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone
View the NHS information about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.