Self-isolation

People across England are now required by law to self-isolate if they are asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive or they have been identified as a contact. Failure to comply with these requirements, including employers who do not allow employees to self-isolate, may result in a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for repeated or serious offences. These regulations will only apply in England.

If you or someone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and begin to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms start. Arrange to have a test for COVID-19 if you have not already had one. The result of the test will determine how long you must stay at home and self-isolate.

Everyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, can get a free test.

A positive test result means you must complete a 10-day isolation period.

If your test is negative, you can stop self-isolating as long as you are well.

If you do not have symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms after your test, restart your 10-day isolation period from the day the symptoms start.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test will be contacted and told to stay at home for 14 days from the point of that contact, even if they do not have symptoms. This is to minimise the risk that they unknowingly spread the virus.

To ensure that people understand why they need to stay at home, NHS Test and Trace will increase contact with individuals who are required to self-isolate and will work with local authorities to check in with them to offer support. The police will also have the power to investigate and fine those who do not follow the rules.

Anyone can catch coronavirus, and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones.

Get a test if you have symptoms. Find out more by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Testing is available for people of all ages.

Have you got COVID-19 and need to self-isolate but are worried about making ends meet? A £500 payment is available if you are on a low income and will lose income because you cannot work from home while self-isolating. 

Apply for a self-isolation payment