Learn when you must self-isolate and how to protect others from infection inside and outside of your home.
Self-isolation guidance changes from Monday, 16 August 2021.
From 16 August, in England, you will not be required to self-isolate if you are notified you have had close contact with, or live in the same household as, someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
*Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate.
If you are not legally required to self-isolate you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible. Children aged 4 and under will not be advised to take a test unless the positive case was someone in their own household.
You should not arrange to have a PCR test if you have previously received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID-19, as it is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID-19 infection.
Remember, even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still get COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help still help to protect your friends, family and colleagues:
As well as getting a PCR test, government guidance advises you to:
You should follow this advice until 10 full days after your most recent contact with the person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
If you are a health or social care worker who has been identified as a close contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional government guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.
If you develop symptoms at any time, or feel unwell, self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow the current guidance.
If you have symptoms or have tested positive, all members of your household must self-isolate.
If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 your household does not need to self-isolate with you. However, they must take extra care to:
Your child may be told by their school or college to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Get a test if you have:
If you have to stay at home but feel well enough to work, ask your employer if you can work from home. If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.
If you need to self-isolate and you’re on a low income, are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be able to claim a payment of £500.