How do you self isolate with a family?

Self-isolation is a key part of preventing a second spike of coronavirus across Britain. The coronavirus lockdown was the initial phase of the Government’s response. However, in recent weeks, many lockdown restrictions have been scaled back. So how exactly do you self isolate with a family?

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is the term used to describe when you remain at home because you have or might have COVID-19.

Self-isolating is a means to prevent spreading the virus onto others.

Social distancing is the general advice for everyone in the current climate and means avoiding close contact with anyone who does not belong in your household.

Shielding is also different and is when advice given to anyone deemed at high risk from coronavirus who is advised to stay at home to avoid contracting the virus.


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When must you self isolate?

Self-isolation is for when you exhibit symptoms of coronavirus such as a dry cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell.

You must take extra precautions in these circumstances to prevent spreading the virus.

During this time you must remain at home and not leave for any reason including not leaving to buy food or medicine.

Instead, you must order these online or ask someone to drop them off at your home.

How to self isolate

When self-isolating you must not leave your home including:

  • Do not leave to go to work, school or public places and working from home where possible
  • Do not use public transport or taxis
  • Do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • Do not go out to exercise instead of exercising at home or in your garden, if you have one.

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How long do you have to self isolate?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, self-isolate for at least seven days from when your symptoms started.

You can stop self-isolating after seven days if:

  • Your symptoms have disappeared
  • You just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste as these symptoms can last for weeks after the infection has gone
  • You must keep self-isolating if you still have any of these symptoms after seven days: a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery, a runny nose or sneezing, feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
  • If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they have stopped.

You may be able to stop self-isolating before seven days if you get a negative test result.

If you do not have symptoms of coronavirus you are required to self isolate for 14 days if you live with someone who is experiencing coronavirus symptoms, has tested positive or is awaiting test results.

The 14 days begins when the first person in your home started having symptoms because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

You can stop self-isolating after 14 days if you do not get any symptoms.

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate for at least seven days from when they started and ask for a coronavirus test, even if this means self-isolating for more than seven days in total.

How to self-isolate with a family

If one member of your family exhibits symptoms of coronavirus everyone in the family or household should self-isolate for 14 days or more if they begin exhibiting symptoms.

If only one family member is showing symptoms it is advised to lock down your home immediately banning all visitors unless they have an urgent need to be there.

You should avoid leaving your home and look to others outside your household to purchases essentials such as food and medicines.

The sick family member should also try to have as little physical contact with anyone not experiencing symptoms.

If possible, designate a separate bedroom and bathroom for their use only ensuring there is good airflow in those areas as well.

Try to close the door, but keep a window open to improve ventilation of the space.

Also, the self-isolating individual should be sure to maintain their health drinking plenty of fluids and taking medication as needed for fevers or body aches.

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