What rules are changing and when?
As of 16 August, fully vaccinated adults no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days if they’re told they have been in close contact with a person who has Covid. This rule also applies to everyone under the age of 18.
Anyone in this situation in England is now advised instead to take a PCR test as soon as possible. You are not required to self-isolate while waiting for the result.
If the result is negative, no further action is needed. However, you are advised to take extra measures like wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces and limiting contact with others, especially the clinically vulnerable.
If You Test Positive
If you test positive on any Covid test or start showing symptoms, you must still self-isolate for 10 days from that point.
When do I need to self-isolate?
You still need to self-isolate for 10 days if you:
- test positive for Covid-19 or start showing symptoms
- are an adult who has not been fully vaccinated, and you are identified by contact tracers as a close contact of someone who has tested positive
- are an adult who lives with someone who tests positive (or has Covid symptoms) and you are not fully vaccinated
- arrive in the UK from a red list country
- are an adult who has not been fully vaccinated and you arrive in the UK from an amber list country
What if I am ‘pinged’?
If you’ve downloaded the NHS Covid app and you receive a “ping” notification that you’ve been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive, you will still be advised (but not legally obliged) to self-isolate if you are an adult who has not been fully vaccinated.
However, if you’re fully vaccinated or under 18, the app will instead suggest you take a test, and offer advice on minimising risk from Covid.
What does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation means staying at home and not going out for any reason.
You should order online groceries, or ask friends or family to help.
No-one from outside your household should come inside, unless to deliver essential care.
If you test positive and feel fine, but subsequently develop symptoms, you must restart your 10-day isolation.
If you have symptoms or test positive, you should:
- Keep your distance from other members of your household
- Leave windows open to improve ventilation
- If possible, sleep and eat in a different room, and use a separate bathroom
- If you share a bathroom, use it after everyone else and clean it thoroughly