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Self-Isolation Help and Guidance

Isolation update 

Close contacts of a positive Covid-19 case no longer need to self-isolate if they are:

  • If you’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
  • Below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • Doubled vaccinated- it is strongly advised to take a Lateral Flow Device test (LFD) every day for 7 days, self-isolate if any of these test results are positive.

 As of the 11 January 2022, people without symptoms with a positive lateral flow test are no longer required to take a PCR test to confirm they have Covid-19.
A PCR to confirm a positive result is only needed if:
  • You are applying for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme you will need a PCR test to confirm your eligibility.
  • You are eligible for new COVID-19 treatments.
  • You are asked to do so as part of research.
  • You have a positive lateral flow test on or before day 2 of arriving in England from outside the UK.
Please only leave the house to get tested. For more info on testing visit our testing guidance page.

You must still self-isolate if:
  • If you have a case of the suspected variant Omicron, isolate for at least 5 days regardless of your vaccination status- LFD tests must be taken before your self-isolation ends.
  • You are over 18 and not yet double vaccinated
  • You have tested positive or have Covid-19 symptoms and are awaiting test results

What should I do...

After my Coronavirus test?
It is important that you go straight home and that you and members of your household do not go out while you await your test result.

If you need essential supplies then please check the ‘help and support’ section below.

If I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for coronavirus you need to self-isolate until for at least 6 days. Isolation can end on day 6, this is following 2 negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day.
The 6 days starts form when your symptoms started. If you have not had symptoms, the 6 days start from when you had the test.
If you know or suspect that you have come into contact someone who has a confirmed case of the Omnicron variant, you must self-isolate for 6 days regardless of your vaccination status.
When travelling from abroad, anyone arriving in the UK will be asked to take a PCR test for Covid-19 on the second day and they must self-isolate until they provide a negative result.
It’s a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. You will be fined if you do not self-isolate.
Find more information, guidance and advice:

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.

If you are self-isolating you must:
  • not go to work, school or public places
  • not go on public transport or use taxis
  • not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one
When can I stop isolating?
You can stop self-isolating after 6 days if either:
  • you do not have any symptoms
  • Both LFD tests taken on days 5 and 6 (24 hours apart) are negative
  • you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone
  • Keep self-isolating if you feel unwell, consider contacting your GP or
  • NHS 111 if you have not already done so.


Help and Support while you’re staying at home


  1. Download our self-isolation guidance leaflet here, as pictured above

To support people on a low income whose earnings are affected by the need to self-isolate, the Government have set up a Test and Trace Payment scheme.

Useful Links Self-Isolation Guidance
Activities for families during self-isolation
Creating a family routine during self-isolation

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