Self-isolation for COVID-19


Self-isolation means staying at home and completely avoiding contact with other people.

You no longer need to restrict your movements, but you must self-isolate if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

If you are at high risk from COVID-19, you should continue to follow public health advice to protect yourself from COVID-19 and use your own judgement to stay safe in public and crowded places.

When do I need to self-isolate?

You need to self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you get a positive COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen).

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19?

Most people no longer need to get tested. Your GP or a healthcare worker will tell you if you need to take a test.

How long do I self-isolate for?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 (PCR or antigen test), you should stay at home for 5 days from when your symptoms started. If you have no symptoms, stay at home for 5 days from the date of your test. You can leave home after 5 days if your symptoms have fully or mostly gone for the last 48 hours.

You should self-isolate as soon as you notice symptoms of COVID-19 or get a positive COVID-19 test result (PCR or antigen test).

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and got a negative PCR or antigen test result or you did not take a test but have symptoms, you should self-isolate until 48 hours after your symptoms end.

If your child has COVID-19

If your child tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms, they need to isolate until both apply:

  • They have not had a high temperature or other symptoms for 48 hours
  • It’s been 3 days since they developed symptoms

Close contacts without symptoms

If you are a close contact of somebody who has COVID-19, look out for symptoms of COVID-19. Close contacts with no symptoms of COVID-19 do not need to self-isolate or restrict movements.

If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you do not need to test for COVID-19.

How to self-isolate

You should stay at home and completely avoid contact with other people.

If you have COVID-19 and have scheduled a COVID-19 vaccine or booster appointment, you should postpone this until after you have recovered. Check how long you should wait to get your vaccine after getting COVID-19.

What do I do after self-isolating?

When you stop self-isolating after 5 days, you should avoid contact with people at higher risk from COVID-19 for a further 5 days (10 days after testing positive).

Page edited: 25 April 2023