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Support to self-isolate

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

A close contact is someone who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, during the time that they were infectious.

If you are a close contact, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not, you need to get a get a PCR test on GOV.UK to check if you have COVID-19 . This is to help protect people who are not yet fully vaccinated or who are clinically vulnerable. However, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you should only get a test if you develop new symptoms.

You can avoid having to self-isolate as a close contact by making sure that you have both doses of the vaccine. Find out more about who can get vaccinated and how to get your vaccine.

Close contacts who don’t have to self-isolate

Self-isolation rules have now changed. If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive and are not displaying any symptoms you won’t have to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • You're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • You're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • You're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

If you are a close contact and are exempt from self-isolation it is essential that you:

Find out more about when you need to self-isolate and what you need to do.

Close contacts who have to self-isolate

If you are a close contact and are not exempt for the reasons listed above then you will need to self-isolate.

If you are self-isolating you can leave home to get your PCR test or take your home PCR test to the post box. However, self-isolation means not leaving your home for any other reason, including: to get food and essential supplies such as medicines, exercise, carry out caring responsibilities or even to walk your dog.

If you are self-isolating you can get help and support to stay at home.

Anybody in your household could need to self-isolate with little warning. Make sure you have a plan in place so that you feel confident you could cope if you needed to self-isolate.

Practical and emotional support

Help with issues that might be affecting you, including food, medical supplies and financial support

Support from your local community hub

Help with food, medicines, loneliness and other support you might need while self-isolating

Caring for someone who is self-isolating

Advice for people who are providing care to a family member or friend during the pandemic

Test and Trace Support Payments

Find out if you are eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment to help you self-isolate

Contact from NHS Test and Trace and your local council

Self-isolating after testing positive

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will receive the following contact from NHS Test and Trace:

  • Self-isolation day 2 - Text message or email
  • Self-isolation day 4 - Phone call
  • Self-isolation day 5 - Text message or email
  • Self-isolation day 7 - Phone call
  • Self-isolation day 8 - Text message or email
  • Self-isolation day 10 - Phone call

Your local council will also make contact with you if you have requested additional support to self-isolate or have identified yourself as clinically or extremely vulnerable.

If you request support from your local council during your isolation, they will contact you again at the end of your isolation period to offer additional help and support if required.

Self-isolating if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive

If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will receive the following contact from NHS Test and Trace:

  • Self-isolation day 2 - Text message or email
  • Self-isolation day 4 - Phone call
  • Self-isolation day 5 - Text message or email
  • Self-isolation day 7 - Phone call
  • Self-isolation day 8 - Text message or email

Your local council will also make contact to offer additional help and support.

If you request support from your local council during your isolation, they will contact you again at the end of your isolation period to offer additional help and support if required.

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