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When to self-isolate
You must self-isolate if you,
- return a positive PCR test result
- develop COVID-19 symptoms
- return a positive lateral flow test result
In each of these cases, once a positive PCR test result is confirmed, you will receive a verbal or written Direction Notice in relation to your self-isolation requirements which must be followed.
If you return a negative PCR test you do not need to isolate.
If you do not wish to be tested but are showing symptoms you must complete a mandatory 10 day isolation.
You will also be required to self-isolate if you are:
- A returning traveller on the ‘Test to release’ Pathway 2
- A returning traveller on the ‘7 Day’ Pathway 3
- A returning traveller on the ’21 Day’ Non-testing Pathway
The vaccination exemption does not apply to a person who develops COVID-19 symptoms or who returns a positive test result. Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms or returns a positive test result must self-isolate even if they are fully vaccinated
If you test positive, you will now need to self-isolate for the next full ten days, after which you will be free to leave at 12:00 (midday) on day 10 so long as you have no symptoms.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms and do not wish to take a PCR test, you will still be required to complete a 10 day mandatory isolation period.
Your contact details will be passed onto the Cabinet Office Contact Tracing Service so any contacts can be followed up and also issued with a mandatory direction notice to self-isolate.
You MUST NOT leave your place of residence during the isolation period; stay at home.
Information for close contacts of a positive case
If you are identified as a close contact, and have no COVID-19 symptoms, you are no longer required to self-isolate or have a PCR test. Instead, close contacts will be strongly encouraged to take part in a free seven-day home testing scheme.
Home test kits – called lateral flow devices – will be available in packs of seven, free of charge. Kits will be available at pharmacies across the Island
You will be encouraged to take a test every day for seven days from when you are identified as a close contact. An anonymous online reporting system is available for people to confirm their negative results.
Whilst there will be no legal restrictions on close contacts, you should consider:
- Work - Telling your employer that you have been identified as a close contact and letting them know if you’ll be undertaking daily home testing – while you are legally allowed to continue to attend work while returning negative lateral flow tests you should discuss any mitigations you or they might like to put in place while you complete the seven days of home testing.
- Contacts - Telling friends, family and colleagues who may feel anxious or vulnerable, you may want to limit or reduce contact with them until you have returned negative lateral flow tests.
- Inform - Thinking about who you interact with in the 10 days after being told you’re a close contact
- Precautions - Taking precautions that may make them and others feel safer, such as minimising face to face close contact, avoiding confined and poorly ventilated areas or wearing a face covering as appropriate until you complete the seven days of home testing.
If you return a positive home test result, or develop symptoms, you should immediately isolate and contact 111 via the website. If the PCR test comes back as positive, you will have to self-isolate for the full 10 days.
You can book a PCR test via the testing & results webpage.
Rules for self-isolation
If you return a positive COVID-19 test result you must follow the below rules for self-isolation;
- DO NOT leave your home for any reason (except to attend the grandstand for a PCR test if you have only done a lateral flow)
- DO NOT go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
- DO NOT take your dog for a walk or attend to other animals not kept on your property, you will need to get someone else to do it.
- DO NOT allow members of another household to enter your garden or home.
- DO NOT use outdoor communal areas, such as designated smoking areas
- DO NOT visit any health and social care settings – including GPs, Dentists, Opticians or Hospital appointments (unless you are seeking emergency medical care)
- DO NOT go to your vaccination appointment. If you have one booked, you can re-schedule it for after the self-isolation period is competed. If you are self-isolating by choice, you can still attend the appointment.
- DO NOT put your waste outside. Personal waste such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags must be double-bagged, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the wheelie bin.
- DO continue to use your garden, if you have one but you should only use it if you feel well enough and do not need to access communal areas to get to it
- DO stay away from other family/household members where possible to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
- DO clean surfaces and door handles regularly and keep rooms ventilated to stop the spread of infection. See social distancing and good hygiene.
- DO your laundry separately - Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
- DO Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.
- While you are ill or self-isolating, arrange for all food, medical and other supplies to be delivered to your home and ensure that the delivery person /driver/friend does not enter your home.
- Do not leave your place of residence; stay at home.
Frequently asked questions
Can I sell items or have items collected from my household?
Sales and collections of items from other households are currently restricted when at least one of the households is self-isolating.
Can I walk my dog / Can I walk someone else’s dog?
If you are currently self-isolating you cannot walk your dog, and must find someone to do this for you. When handing over a dog for exercise you should following these guidelines;
- When collecting the dog, you should make sure you do not have close contact with the dog owner (or other household members). You must not enter the house where you are collecting the dog. You should maintain at least 2m distance from all the household members and we strongly recommend that both you and they should wear a face covering.
- Where possible, the dog should be left for collection (and on return) in an area where the owners (and other household members) are not present – eg in a yard/garden or garage, shed etc.
- You should wipe the lead and collar with a sanitised wipe on collection and return.
- You should remember to wash your hands before and after handling the dog and keep 2 metres away from other people and animals, including when handing over the dog to the owner.
- You should make sure you have the dog under control at all times to reduce risk of incidents that could bring you into close contact with other people and it may be best to achieve this by keeping it on the lead.
I live in a flat. Can I take my rubbish out and collect my mail?
No. Rubbish should be disposed of by someone in your building not in self isolation.
I have a carer. Can they still visit me in a non-emergency?
If you are in need of care in your home then your carer can still visit you, however they must wear full PPE at all times, maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene for the duration of the visit. You must advise your carer in advance of the visit that you are in self isolation. The carer will need to perform their risk assessment if employed by an agency/government.
Can I move back into shared accommodation after I have completed self-isolation?
You may move to a household where other people live after your period of self-isolation if this is your usual place of residence.
Can I visit my GP or any other healthcare centre during the isolation period?
No. If you require regular medication, you must make arrangements to ensure this can be dropped off to you. You can contact your GP for telephone advice if required.
Can I go to hospital in an emergency?
Yes, in the case of an emergency you must dial 999 and attend hospital if necessary. Please tell 999 you are self–isolating, if you can.
Someone I had contact with tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
There is a chance that you could become infected with COVID-19 but it depends on the nature of the contact you had with the person and where they were up to in the disease process at the time you were with them.
If you had prolonged and close contact whilst they had symptoms it is best if you stay at home to help stop any spread of infection.
For those with a positive case in their household
Can I continue to work?
Yes – if you return a negative lateral flow test. If someone in your household tests positive you should collect a set of lateral flow tests to do at home. Visit our Lateral flow page for more information about collection and use of these.
There is no requirement for other members of the household to isolate, unless they test positive.
You can continue to work, but we would recommend approaching your employer to check what mitigations or alternatives they may want to put in place.
What do I need to do with my lateral flow tests?
Please visit our Lateral Flow page [link] for information on how to collect, use and report your LFT results.
What mitigations should I take to prevent catching COVID-19 in my house?
If a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19 they should follow the rules for Self-Isolation above. This means there should be minimal contact between positive persons and the rest of the household, where possible separate bathrooms and kitchens should be used – if this is not possible then regular cleaning and disinfection should take place of shared spaces and appliances.
For those isolating separately from your household
I have an annex as part of my main house. Can I self–isolate in there without the rest of my household needing to isolate as well? Or can my household move into the annex and I isolate in the main house?
Yes, either way is acceptable. An annex is a building or part of a building which has been constructed or adapted for use as a separate living accommodation. This is acceptable to self-isolate in as long as it meets the following requirements:
It has a separate external door – it must be fully accessible from outside
Facilities within that do not need to be shared i.e. kitchen, bathroom
Any internal access must be able to be secured from within the annex
This also applies to a mobile static or temporary home which must remain at a fixed location for the period of the self-isolation, so long as waste disposal and water provisions can be met by the person in isolation.
I have a motorhome. Can I self-isolate in there away from my household?
- Yes, as long as it is fully self-contained as detailed above, and there is no requirement to share facilities.
- You must ensure that waste disposal and the provision of fuel is undertaken by someone in your household.
- The motorhome must remain in place for the duration of the period of self-isolation.
If the motor home is parked on the property can I access the gardens and driveway?
Yes as long you do not come into contact with anyone from your household at any time.
Can the motorhome be parked on the street?
If there is a driveway available then the motorhome should be parked there. If there is no driveway available then it must be parked in the street outside your home to ensure that waste disposal can be undertaken. All steps must be taken, when exiting the vehicle to exercise, to ensure that the area is clear of other passing pedestrians.
Can I self-isolate in a tent /horsebox/converted garage/shed in the garden?
No. The alternative accommodation must be fully self-contained as described above.