If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to self-isolate.
When you need to isolate
You only need to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.
Isolation can be at your home or at suitable alternative accommodation.
How long you need to isolate
You will need to self-isolate for at least 7 days while you recover from COVID-19. If you are still sick, stay home. Start counting the 7 days from day zero (0). Day 0 is the day that your symptoms started or that you received a positive test result (if you do not have any symptoms).
What self-isolation involves
Self-isolation means staying at home for the whole time you’re required to be there, except for some very limited reasons to leave. It also means taking common-sense precautions to avoid close contact with those you live with.
Advice for self-isolation:
- Stay home or at your accommodation, don’t share your room with others, and have access to your own bathroom if possible.
- Exercise at home or in your garden if you can, or outdoors in your neighbourhood away from other people. You cannot exercise in any shared facilities, like a public swimming pool.
- Limit contact with others you live with. If you cannot, you should stay at least 1.5 metres apart and wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth when near others.
- Don’t share items with others in your household.
- Do your own laundry.
- Don’t have visitors in your home.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly.
- Open windows to increase fresh air flow inside.
- Get friends or family to leave food, prescriptions or essential items on your doorstep, or get supplies delivered.
If you’re unable to self-isolate at home
If it’s unsafe for you to self-isolate at home, alternative accommodation may be available to you. You can request this through the online form.
If you live with a person who has COVID-19
If you live with a person who has COVID-19, we recommend you test daily for 5 days. If you test positive, follow all self-isolation rules.
So long as you test negative every day, you can leave your home.
We recommend that you wear a mask when outside your home, especially if you are visiting vulnerable people (like elderly or immunocompromised), if you are using public transport, or if you are in a crowded indoor space.
If you need home support services
Essential care services, such as toileting, washing and feeding, can continue.
If you’re identified as a household contact of a case, carers must use good hand hygiene and physical distancing when possible. If this isn’t possible, they must wear personal protection equipment like disposable gloves and masks.
If you need to go into hospital
If you or the person you are caring for have severe symptoms call 111 immediately. Severe symptoms include:
- finding it difficult to breathe
- feeling faint, passing out or is very difficult to wake up
- blue around the mouth or very pale and cold
- having severe chest pain.
If you had a more severe illness and require hospital care, you will need more time before you can return home and resume your usual activities. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by a health professional.
COVID-19 related medical costs are free.
If you need support
Many people will be able to manage self-isolation with help from friends and family, but there is help available if you need it.
Support for businesses