Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. This still applies even if you have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you should stay at home and self-isolate.
If you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months you will not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
Help with self-isolating
If you or someone you know has to self-isolate due to a positive coronavirus test, isolating doesn't mean you should be isolated.
We're here for you, so get in touch with Sefton's self-isolation support service right away on 0345 140 0845. Once through, please choose OPTION 3 to make sure you speak to a member of our team as quickly as possible.
The things we can help you with include:
- financial support if you are on low income and unable to work from home (Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme);
- accessing food, whether through priority delivery slots for your grocery shopping or access to your local foodbank;
- help with mental health as you deal with loneliness and boredom;
- your caring responsibilities.
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is when we do not leave our home because we have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19). It helps stop us from spreading the virus to other people.
We are all legally required to self-isolate for 10 days if we test positive for coronavirus or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. We could be fined up to £10,000 if we do not self-isolate.
Self-isolation is different to:
- social distancing – general advice for everyone to avoid close contact with other people
- shielding – advice for people at high risk from coronavirus
Have a question about self-isolating and the changes involved? See our list of FAQs below:
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should, as now, self-isolate while they wait for the results of a PCR test.
Everyone who tests positive will still be legally required to self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status.
Close contacts of confirmed cases will still be legally required to self-isolate if they are over 18 and not fully vaccinated.
If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, you will still need to self-isolate if you are identified as the close contact of a positive case, unless you are under 18.
Individuals are fully vaccinated two weeks after their second jab.
This is to allow for an antibody response to develop.
You need both doses of a two-dose vaccine for maximum protection against COVID-19. You must have been fully vaccinated at the time of the contact with the positive case.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at reducing the risk of transmission and severe illness.
Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 is estimated to be between 78%-80% (after both doses, where it is a two-dose vaccine).
Although not everyone is fully vaccinated from 16 August, the risk of onward transmission in the general population will be significantly reduced.
Yes, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, arrange to have a PCR test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.
You should stay at home while you are waiting for a home test kit, a test site appointment or a test result.
Rapid lateral flow testing is available for free to anybody but is particularly important for those who are not fully vaccinated, those in education, and those in higher-risk settings such as the NHS, social care and prisons.
If you are fully vaccinated or under 18 at the time of contact with a positive case, you are exempt from the requirement to self-isolate.
Instead, you should take a PCR test as soon as possible.
Limiting social contact while waiting for the results of your PCR test, will help prevent the possible spread of infection, should you have virus.
To give those recently turned 18 the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, they will be treated in the same way as under 18s up until the age of 18 years and 6 months.
Young people aged 16 and 17 are being contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgeries to book their 1st dose of the vaccine.
Some walk-in COVID-19 vaccination sites are offering the vaccine to people aged 16 and 17.
Healthy school-aged children aged 12 to 15 will be offered COVID-19 vaccination in their school.
There will be alternative provision for those who are home-schooled, in secure services or specialist mental health settings.
All positive cases, regardless of age or vaccination status, are contacted for three reasons:
- To help ensure that they self-isolate and to check whether they need support to do this
- To determine who they might have infected
- To establish where and when they might have been infected, so that we can identify potential local outbreaks.
Tracing close contacts allows us to give them appropriate advice on testing and/or self-isolation, depending on their vaccination status and age.
NHS Test and Trace will check whether you are legally required to self-isolate and will advise you what to do.
Clinical advice suggests that a PCR test after two days will find a high proportion of cases.
Based on the effectiveness of the vaccine at reducing the risk of transmission and projected levels of vaccination, the government does not consider that daily LFD testing in addition to PCR testing would be a proportionate measure. Individuals are however encouraged to continue taking twice-weekly LFD tests.
If your PCR test result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days to avoid spreading the infection to other people.
This remains a legal requirement. Those you live with – and any close contacts outside your household – will either be required to self-isolate or advised to get a PCR test, depending on their age and vaccination status.
A contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
You can be a contact any time from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from 2 days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others. A risk assessment may be undertaken to determine this, but a contact can be:
- anyone who lives in the same household as another person who has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
- anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:
o face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
o been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
o been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
A person may also be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
If you have been identified as a contact, you have been assessed as being at risk of developing COVID-19, even if you don’t currently have symptoms. You should follow all the guidance in this document.
An interaction through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is not usually considered to be a contact, as long as there has been no other contact such as those in the list above.
If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you will be notified by the NHS Test and Trace service via text message, email or phone and should follow this guidance closely.
If contacts who are fully vaccinated or children are exempt from self-isolation, what is the point of contact tracing/NHSTT?