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On Monday 21 February, the government confirmed that all remaining domestic COVID-19 restrictions will be removed. At a glance, from 24 February:

  • The legal requirement for people to isolate following a positive test has been removed.
  • Contact tracing has ended and close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, are no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests.
  • From 24 February, workers are not legally obliged to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.
  • Self-isolation support payments have ended.

When and how to self-isolate if you're unwell

You can still reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19 by staying at home if you’re unwell. Stay at home until you feel better and reduce the risk that you will pass on an illness to your friends, colleagues, and others in your community.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you are advised to follow the national advice on how to stay safe and help reduce the spread.

From 1 April 2022, symptomatic and asymptomatic testing will continue in some high-risk settings and for some in groups considered at high risk of serious illness if infected with COVID-19. Follow this link to see if you may be eligible.

To help reduce the spread, people testing positive are advised to stay home for five days and avoid contact with anyone, including those who live in the same household. The first five days is when you are most infectious.

If you are unable to stay at home, you are strongly advised to:

  • limit close contact with other people, including those in your household, especially in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces
  • wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces and where you are in close contact with other people
  • limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19

You can find out more about when to self-isolate, treating symptoms of coronavirus, and help and support when self-isolating on the NHS website.

Close contacts

If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you are no longer required to self-isolate – even if you have not been vaccinated.

Close contacts who are fully vaccinated are no longer asked to test daily for seven days.

It’s really important that we all continue to follow coronavirus safety advice to keep ourselves and others safe.

Be prepared in case you need to self-isolate

It’s a good idea to plan ahead and make sure you already have essential items at home in case you need to self-isolate. It might be a few days before you can get supplies, from friends, family or local support services. Think about having:

  • Some long-life food supplies, such as tinned food, long-life milk, frozen meals
  • A stock of day-to-day essentials like soap and toothpaste
  • Essential medicines and medical supplies that you rely on or might need if you start to feel unwell. Most pharmacies can deliver medication, so please don’t request more than you need – just make sure you have enough to get you through a few days of needing to stay home
  • Contact details for friends, family and local support services who can help you with supplies while you’re self-isolating
  • It might also be helpful to think about how you will keep yourself entertained and stay comfortable if you’re feeling unwell.
  • From 1 April until 30 June, collect up to one box of five free lateral flow tests per household each month from one of ten collection points across Portsmouth, while stocks last. You will be asked to show proof that you live at a Portsmouth address (postcodes PO1 – PO6) when you come to collect. Learn more about how to collect your free tests.

Where to get help

There is help at hand if you’re worried about self-isolating, if you need help getting essentials like food or medicine, or if self-isolating will cause financial difficulty.