Help if you are self-isolating

Rules for self-isolation

The government says that you must self-isolate if:

  • you have symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19, including those who are waiting for a test
  • you've had a positive COVID-19 test result (whether or not you have symptoms)
  • you currently live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms, or with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Read the stay at home guidance for households in full on GOV.UK.

This guidance also applies to people in your support bubble or childcare bubble.

If you have arrived in the UK from overseas you may also need to self-isolate.

If you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, the NHS COVID-19 app, or the Essex and Southend contact tracing service you need to follow the guidance on the NHS website.

Why do I need to self-isolate?

It's a legal requirement 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 is to stop the spread of the virus and to protect others.

What does self-isolation mean?

This means you must not leave your home if you're self-isolating.
You must not:

  • go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • use public transport or 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 long do I need to self-isolate for?

Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days.

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