Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms
March 28, 2020
Self-isolation helps stop coronavirus spreading
Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does. This is called self-isolation.
If you are self-isolating, you must:
- not leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least 2 meters (3 steps) away from other people
- not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
- not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
You can use your garden if you have one.
How long to self-isolate
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to self-isolate for 7 days.
After 7 days:
- if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
- if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal
You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
If you live with someone who has symptoms
If you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms.
If you get symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you’re self-isolating for longer than 14 days.
If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.
Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Do not leave your home if you have either:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
- Try to keep 2 meters (3 steps) away from each other
- Avoid using shared spaces, such as kitchens or bathrooms, at the same time as each other
- Open windows in shared spaces if you can
- Clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched
- Use a dishwasher if you have one – if you do not have one, use washing-up liquid and warm water and dry everything thoroughly
- Do not share a bed, if possible
- Do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels
Source: National Health Service (NHS)
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