Self-isolation explained

Self-isolation is an important way to protect yourself and others, and slow down the spread of COVID-19. Although you are no longer required to self-isolate by law, it is still recommended that you stay home and avoid contact with others if you have symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19.

You should follow this advice if:

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
  • you have tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR OR lateral flow test
  • you have returned to the UK from a country with a high COVID-19 risk - please see the Government website for the full list

Please see the website for the most up to date guidance.

How to self-isolate

Watch the video

Practical tips on how to self-isolate

  • Stay at home and keep your home well ventilated
  • Do not leave the house to go to work, school or public places
  • Do not invite visitors into your home
  • Get shopping and medicine delivered to your house by friends, family or delivery services
  • Ask for deliveries to be left outside your house for you to collect, unless delivered by a household member

You can use your garden, if you have one. All exercise should be carried out at home.

    Living with vulnerable individuals

    If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to arrange for them to stay elsewhere with friends or family for 10 days. If this is not possible:

    • Avoid shared spaces for example by using separate bedrooms and bathrooms, and the vulnerable person should eat in their room
    • If you can’t avoid shared spaces, try to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from each other and keep windows open in any shared spaces
    • Keep toiletries, laundry, cutlery and kitchen utensils separate - for example toothbrushes, sheets, towels, crockery and cups
    • Wash bedding at 60-90°C, and wash cutlery and kitchen utensils thoroughly with soap and warm water or in a dishwasher
    • Disinfect toilets and bathroom surfaces after use and disinfect bedroom surfaces at least once a day
    • Wash your hands before and after using the bathroom and kitchen, and before contact with the vulnerable person

    How to cope with self-isolation

    Self-isolation can be a challenging time, both mentally and physically. We’ve put together some helpful tips on how to cope with staying at home.

    Read more

    Watch our video guides

    • How to look after someone with COVID-19

    • How to wash your hands

    • How to use hand sanitizer