Symptoms and preventing spread of the virus
You must self isolate which means you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.
Self-isolation is different to:
- social distancing, general advice for everyone to avoid close contact with other people
- shielding, advice for people at high risk from coronavirus
If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you'll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.
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.
You'll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:
- someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
- someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
Preventing the spread of Covid within your household
If someone within your household tests positive, there are measures you can take to reduce the risk of anyone else in your home getting sick;
- Isolate the person who has symptoms or has tested positive for Covid (if you can)i.e. stay in a separate room
- Stagger mealtimes and clean the kitchen after use with antibacterial spray
- After using the bathroom clean the area with antibacterial spray
- Wash your hands with soap and water often, do this for at least 20 seconds
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Use separate towels and cutlery to your other family members
- Wear a mask indoors in communal spaces until the person has completed their isolation period.
- DO NOT let anyone else into your home or leave the house if you are supposed to be isolating. This could spread the virus even further and is enforceable by law.
Regular rapid testing
Getting regularly tested is a great way to ensure you are keeping yourself and others safe.
As 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms, these tests are trying to find people who would otherwise be unaware they have COVID-19.
Basic hygiene precautions remain the best way of significantly reducing the chances of spreading any virus, especially when you are out of the home:
- sneeze or cough into a tissue and then bin it
- wash your hands frequently
- don’t touch your face
- Wear a mask when required
- Keep 2m apart from another person
Best way to wash your hands
Simple measures like washing your hands often with soap and water can help stop viruses like coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading.
The NHS has step by step instructions on the best way to wash your hands:
Dr Hillary videos
Managing mild symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) at home
Staying at home because of coronavirus (COVID-19)