Coronavirus: When you should self-isolate and how you can do it

CORONAVIRUS cases are continuing to rise across the UK as the pandemic worsens across the world.

By The News
Sunday, 15th March 2020, 10:18 am

If you suspect you have coronavirus you are advised to self-isolate.

What is self-isolation?

Matt Hancock, former minister for Portsmouth, helped to explain it in Parliament last month: ‘We updated the advice on exactly what self-isolation means early this week and it does for instance mean going home.

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Picture posed by model to illustrate self-isolating measures. Picture: Jacob King/PA Wire

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‘It means obviously not going on public transport, leaving the house as little as possible and trying to get other people to do things like collect groceries.’

How do I self-isolate?

The best place to self-isolate yourself is obviously your own home, where you should stay for the duration of your quarantine.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock at a news conference inside 10 Downing Street. Picture: Simon Dawson/PA Wire

This means you shouldn't go to work, school or public areas, and not use any public transport or taxis.

If you need something from outside your home, you can ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you.

But you're advised to try to avoid visitors to your home, though it is OK for friends and family or delivery drivers to drop off food and other supplies.

How long should I self-isolate for?

You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.

What if I'm not at home?

Of course, it's possible that any coronavirus symptoms could arise while you're out and about.

If this is the case, the official advice insists that you do not go to a GP surgery or hospital, as that could spread the virus inordinately.

Instead, you should try to find a room to isolate yourself away from others. Ask for help if you need to, but try to stay at least two metres away from other people.

Open a window for ventilation if you can, but otherwise touch objects and surfaces as little as possible, and call 111 for advice.

If you find yourself on public transport and become unwell, you should go back to your home or place of residence immediately.

What if you live with other people?

Mr Hancock added: ‘If other people live with you at home, trying to keep out of contact with them.

‘It does mean, within a house where there is lots of people living, trying to stay away from others living in that house.

‘I appreciate that that is practically challenging and difficult, especially as a father of three small children I get it, but that is the goal of self-isolation.’

What should family members do if they have no symptoms?

Labour MP Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) asked what the advice is to the family members or others living with someone who is self-isolating.

Mr Hancock said: 'Other family members who are asymptomatic should go about their normal business in the normal way, it is those who have tested positively who should self-isolate.’

Who needs to self-isolate?

Anybody who feels there is a chance that they could have contracted coronavirus needs to self-isolate, before calling 111 for advice.

But there are certain groups of people who are more at risk than others. You should self-isolate if you have travelled to any of the following places:

- Cambodia

- China

- Hong Kong

- Iran

- Italy

- Japan

- Laos

- Macau

- Malaysia

- Myanmar (Burma)

- Singapore

- South Korea

- Taiwan

- Tenerife – only the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel

- Thailand

- Vietnam