when to self isolate

Covid-19: When to self isolate and what you can and cannot do during this time

As cases continue to rise in Staffordshire and across the country make sure you know exactly what is allowed if you need to self isolate

With rising cases across the country, local lockdowns and flu season on its way, it’s going to be a challenging few months ahead. And as the government grapples to get this virus under control, we want to make sure you know when to self isolate and what you can do during this time to help stop the spread of coronavirus and keep you, your family and the wider community safe. 

We’ve got the latest advice from the NHS to help you make the right choices. 

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When to self isolate

According to the NHS you need to self isolate immediately if you have symptoms of coronavirus or you have tested positive for coronavirus. 

You should also self isolate if you live with someone who has either tested positive or showing symptoms. Or someone in your support bubble has tested positive. Or if you are told to do so by NHS track and trace or the new NHS Covid-19 app

Finally if you have returned back to the UK from a country considered to have a high coronavirus risk, you will also need to self isolate. 

How long do I self isolate for?

You should self isolate for 14 days from the moment you begin to notice symptoms. You can leave home to get a test. If you are returning home from a country on the high risk list, then you should go home immediately after returning to the UK and remain there for 14 days from this point. 

Self isolation is where you stay at home and do not leave your home for the entire period of isolation. By doing so you are helping to stop the spread of the virus to other people outside of your home. 

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The dos and don’ts of self isolation 

According to the NHS here is exactly what you do and don’t do during your self isolation period. 


  • go to work, school or public places 
  • go on public transport or use taxis
  • leave home to get food or medicine
  • have visitors in your home (including friends and family) unless they are providing essential care to you 
  • go out to exercise or for a walk 


  • work from home if you can 
  • order food online and have it delivered or ask someone to collect and bring it home for you. 
  • exercise at home or in your garden if you have one 
It can be hard to stay at home during this time, especially if you live alone, but it’s important to do so to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Be sure to stay in contact with family and friends via social media and video calls as this will help you to stay positive and upbeat during this time.
There are volunteers who can help bring you food and medicines and you may also be able to get financial help if you are unable to work during this time.
For more information on self isolation and the support available, visit: NHS.co.uk.
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