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If you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app

This advice is for people who have been told to stay at home (self-isolate) by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.

Information:

There is separate advice about:

Self-isolate for 14 days

If you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app:

  • self-isolate for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person who tested positive for coronavirus – as it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
  • try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
  • people in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms

If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.

If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.

If you get symptoms of coronavirus

If you get any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) while you're self-isolating:

  • get a test as soon as possible
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result
  • anyone in your support bubble should self-isolate if you've been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started

What to do when you get your test result

If you test negative (the test did not find coronavirus):

  • keep self-isolating for the rest of the 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested
  • anyone you live with can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms
  • anyone in your support bubble can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms

If you test positive (you have coronavirus):

  • self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started – even if it means you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started
  • anyone in your support bubble should self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started

Read more about how long to self-isolate.

If you do not get symptoms of coronavirus

If you do not get any symptoms of coronavirus while self-isolating:

  • you can stop self-isolating after 14 days
  • you do not need to have a test

How you'll be contacted

If you've been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus and need to self-isolate, you may get:

  • an email, text or phone call from NHS Test and Trace – text messages will come from NHStracing and calls will come from 0300 0135 000
  • an alert from the NHS COVID-19 app

Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian's permission to continue the call.

You'll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.

Important

NHS Test and Trace will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

Page last reviewed: 27 November 2020
Next review due: 4 December 2020