Back to top

Health blog: A quick guide to self-isolation

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health.

Dear residents,

On Monday 28th September, the Government introduced a key change in national legislation which means that all of us are now required to self-isolate (stay at home) by law if we:

  • test positive for COVID-19
  • are identified by NHS Test & Trace as a ‘close contact’

This week I wanted to do something a little different with my blog and point you to some important information about who should self-isolate and when, in a quick guide format (below).

In addition to the quick guide I wanted to clarify a few terms:

What is self-isolation?

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. While you are self-isolating:

  • do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • do not go out to exercise – exercise at home, or in your garden if you have one

 

What is a ‘close contact’?

A ‘close contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person had any symptoms up to 10 days from the first day of symptoms (this period is when they are infectious to others). For example, a close contact can be:

  • people who spend significant time in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • a person who has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including:
    • being coughed on
    • having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
    • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
    • contact within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
  • a person who has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes
  • a person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or in a large vehicle or plane near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • anyone who NHS Test & Trace or your local public health team (Wirral) identifies as a close contact

There is more information about what is classed as a close contact via the NHS website.

Please share these important messages with your family, friends and communities as we all do our bit to slow the spread of COVID-19.

And, if you have any queries about self-isolation or testing you can find information and support by:

  • Visiting www.wirral.gov.uk/test or calling 119 to book a test.
  • Visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus for the latest guidance
  • Calling Wirral’s Coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm for local guidance and support options.

Businesses and community organisations can call 0151 650 6982 or email policy@wirralchamber.co.uk for support from Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

Please remember, you should only get a Coronavirus test if you have symptoms.

Thanks again for reading and please, stay safe.

Julie.

Residents on low incomes who meet Government criteria and are asked to self-isolate can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme and read FAQs here: www.wirral.gov.uk/covidpayment.

Self-isolation guide in text form:

What to do if...

Action needed...

Carry on as normal when...

...I have Coronavirus symptoms

- DO NOT go to work/school/   shopping etc

- Self-isolate and get a test

- Your household and support bubble must also self-isolate

...the test comes back negative

...I test POSITIVE for Coronavirus

-DO NOT go to work/school/   shopping etc

-Self-isolate for at least 10 days. The 10 days must start from day zero – this is from date of onset of symptoms or in the absence of any symptoms, date of test

-Rest of household to self-isolate for 14 days. If you have been in work/school in the 2 days before your symptoms started or whilst had symptoms, you should inform   them of your positive test result.

...you have completed self-isolation period. Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:  - a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery

- a runny nose or sneezing

-  feeling or being sick

- diarrhoea

Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone. The rest of the household must continue to isolate for 14 days from your positive result. A contact having a negative test does not mean that they can stop self-isolation earlier than 14 days.

…somebody in my household/support bubble has Coronavirus symptoms

- DO NOT go to work/school/   shopping etc

-  Household to self-isolate

-  Household member to get a test

...the household member test is NEGATIVE

…somebody in my household/support bubble has tested POSITIVE for Coronavirus

-  DO NOT go to work/school/   shopping etc

-  Household/support bubble to self-isolate – you must all complete the full 14 days even if you take a test which comes back negative

-  Only take a test if you develop symptoms

…the household has completed 14 days of self-isolation

 …NHS Test & Trace or the local public health team have identified me as a ‘close contact’ of somebody with symptoms or confirmed coronavirus

- DO NOT go to work/school/   shopping etc

- Self-isolate for 14 days. You must complete the full 14 days even if you take a test which comes back negative. Only take a test if you develop symptoms

- Those you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms

- Those in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms

…you have completed 14 days of self-isolation and haven’t developed symptoms.

…I work with someone who has been told to self-isolate, but doesn’t have symptoms of Coronavirus

- No action required unless you develop symptoms or are contacted by either NHS Test & Trace or Wirral public health team or your employer has asked you to self-isolate for 14 days

n/a

…I work with someone who has developed symptoms of Coronavirus

- No action required unless you develop symptoms or are contacted by either NHS Test & Trace or Wirral public health team or your employer has asked you to self-isolate for 14 days

n/a

…I work with someone who has tested POSITIVE for Coronavirus

- No action required unless you develop symptoms or are contacted by either NHS Test & Trace or Wirral public health team or your employer has asked you to self-isolate for 14 days

n/a

…I have been to a restaurant/shop/gym (or other indoor venue) where another customer has gone on to develop Coronavirus symptoms

- If you think you’ve been in contact with someone who has Coronavirus, but you do not have symptoms and have not been told to self-isolate, continue to follow social distancing advice

…n/a. Unless you’re contacted by NHS Test & Trace or the local public health team – continue to follow social distancing advice

…I have been to a restaurant/shop/gym (or other indoor venue) where another customer has gone on to test POSITIVE for Coronavirus

- If you think you’ve been in contact with someone who has Coronavirus, but you do not have symptoms and have not been told to self-isolate, continue to follow social distancing advice

…n/a. Unless you’re contacted by NHS Test & Trace or the local public health team – continue to follow social distancing advice

…I/my household travelled and have to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine

- DO NOT go to work/school/   shopping etc

- Self-isolate for 14 days - even if a test is negative

…the quarantine period of 14 days has been completed and haven’t developed symptoms

…I am not sure who should get a test for COVID -19 (coronavirus)

- Only people with symptoms*    need to get a test n  People without symptoms are not   advised to get a test, even if they are a ‘close contact’ of someone who tests positive

…when conditions above, as matching your situation, are met