The NHS recommends that someone with symptoms of COVID-19 should remain at home for seven days. If you live with someone then the whole household should stay at home for 14 days to prevent the infection from spreading outside the house.
If you have a fever or a new continuous cough, then stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days to observe your symptoms. You can check for details on symptoms and what you should do on the NHS 111 Coronavirus website.
Only contact NHS 111 if you cannot get help online or if your symptoms get worse or last longer than seven days.
Self Isolation Tips
You will have to stay at home if you have corona-viral symptoms (COVID-19) or if you live with someone who is experiencing symptoms.
Staying at home means:
- You shouldn’t go to work, to school, or public areas.
- You shouldn’t use public transportation or taxis.
- You should not have guests, such as friends and relatives in your house.
- Don’t go to buy food or collect medication. For urgent need, you can order online and by phone for home delivery.
- Try to avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens or bathrooms at the same time with others.
- Open windows in common areas, if you can.
- Clean the shared bathroom every time, for instance, by wiping the touched surfaces.
- Use a dishwasher if you have one-one, otherwise use liquid and hot water to wash and thoroughly dry.
- Call before you seek medical attention.
- Be vigilant if you feel worse or think it’s an emergency.
- Keep away from other people in your house; live as long as you can in a certain “room” and away from others in your family. If available, use a separate bathroom.
- Restrict pet and animal contact. While there have been no reports of pets or animals suffering from COVID-19, it is still advised, until more information is available, that people with the virus should avoid contact with animals.
- If you need to do anything for your pets when you’re sick, wash your hands before and after engaging with them.
- If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s department to inform them that you have or may have COVID-19.
- If cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and dispose of immediately.
- Wash your hands immediately for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. When there is no water and soap, cleanse your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser of at least 60% alcohol. It is especially necessary after you cough, or sneeze, go to the bathroom, and before you eat or cook food.
- Do not share dishes, plates, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with any other person in your household. Thoroughly wash dishes after use.
Monitor Your Symptoms
When you are in self-isolation, track your signs and symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately if the condition gets worse (for example, when it is hard to breathe). You must contact the doctor before visiting the GP surgery and or hospital: they will tell you what to do. Wear a face mask if possible before leaving the house. If you can’t put on a face mask, try to maintain a discreet distance (at least 6 feet away) from other people. This helps to protect other people you may come into contact with.
Follow your health care provider and local health department for instructions. The local health officials will have guidance on symptom monitoring and reporting.
How Long You Should Stay at Home
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you will need to stay at home for seven days.
After seven days:
- If you no longer have a temperature, you do not have to stay at home.
- If you do have a high temperature, you have to stay at home until the temperature returns to normal.
- There is no need to stay at home if you only have a cough after seven days as a cough can last several weeks after the infection has disappeared.
If you live with someone who is symptomatic
- If you live with someone who is symptomatic, you need to stay at home for 14 days from the day their symptoms start. This is because symptoms can take 14 days to appear.
- If more than one person has symptoms at home, stay at home for 14 days after the first person shows symptoms.
- If you start feeling unwell, stay at home for seven days from the beginning of your symptoms, even if that means more than 14 days at home.
- If you do not experience symptoms, after 14 days, you no longer need to self isolate at home.
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is self-care. Through self-care, you can not only minimise the risk for yourself but others as well.