Self Isolation

Self-isolation: stay at home advice

How long to stay at home (self-isolate) if you have symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.

After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they’re at home for longer than 14 days.

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 find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you are based in England, you should use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.
In Scotland, use the NHS Inform coronavirus self-help guide.
In Wales, use the NHS Direct Wales Coronavirus COVID-19 Symptom Checker.
In Northern Ireland, call 111.

After 7 days, if you no longer have a high temperature you can return to your normal routine.

If you still have a high temperature, stay at home until your temperature returns to normal. If you still have a cough after 7 days, but your temperature is normal, you do not need to continue staying at home. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

Working at home

Following the Prime Minister’s call for people to work at home during the coronavirus outbreak if they can, the TUC has published advice for home working here. 

ACAS has also produced a guide to help employees deal with the implications of working from home, available to here.

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service. The notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online.

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