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How to self-isolate and protect Portsmouth

Our Protect Portsmouth guide to self-isolating will help you know what to do if you need to self-isolate.

You must self-isolate immediately if you have coronavirus symptoms, have tested positive or are contacted by Test and Trace as you may have been infected – even if you don’t have symptoms. You must also self-isolate if you live with or share a support bubble with someone who has symptoms or tested positive.

Self-isolating is hard but it is really important to stop others from getting ill. If you don’t self-isolate when you should, you will be breaking the law and could be fined.

The difference between staying at home and self-isolation

Self-isolating is much stricter than the instruction to stay at home. If you’re self-isolating, you should not leave the house for any reason – other than to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms.

You can find out more about the latest coronavirus rules for everyone here.

When to self-isolate

If you tick one or more of the boxes below, you must stay at home and self-isolate:

Most people will need to self-isolate and not leave home at all for 10 full days. You may need to self-isolate for longer if you get symptoms while self-isolating or your symptoms do not go away. You can find out more on the NHS website.

What you can and can't do when you self-isolate

You can't
  • You can’t pop to the shops or pharmacy
  • You can’t leave the house for exercise or to walk the dog
  • You can’t go to a place of work
  • You can’t catch a bus or train
  • You can’t go out to pick up a takeaway
  • You can’t go to school or drop your children off at school
  • You can’t meet up with other people
You can
  • You can work from home
  • You can exercise in your home or garden
  • You can ask others to deliver food or medicine to your doorstep
  • You can leave the house to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms but you must go straight there and back. It is best to walk or drive yourself there if you can. Find out more about getting a test.

How to keep others safe at home

If you’re self-isolating it’s really important to do what you can to help protect others at home from coronavirus. Here are a few simple things you can do:

  • Keep shared spaces like the bathroom and kitchen clean using normal household products
  • Regularly clean things people touch the most such as taps, worktops, tables, door handles, light switches and handrails
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • Don’t share towels, including hand towels and tea towels
  • Cover coughs and sneezes and bin tissues quickly
  • Air the house and open windows when you can, coronavirus doesn’t spread as quickly in well-ventilated spaces
  • Limit close contact with others at home as much as possible.

Know the symptoms and get tested

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should book a test by calling 119 or visiting Gov.UK. The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Be prepared in case you need to self-isolate

You might not get much notice that you need to self-isolate, especially if you’re contacted by NHS Test and Trace or the Covid-19 app. As soon as you know you need to self-isolate you must stay at home. Don’t be tempted to nip out to the shops to stock up on food and essentials for the next 10 days.

It’s a good idea to plan ahead and make sure you already have essential items at home. 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.

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.