Coronavirus update: Second wave fears rise – here’s when you need to self-isolate

Reports suggest the length of self-isolation required is due to increase from seven to 10 days. Sources say the move will be announced by the government later today.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is put into place to help stop the spread of the contagious SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) virus.

Members of the public have been instructed by the NHS to “stay at home” if they may have an infection with SARS-CoV-2.

This could be identified after testing positive for the disease, or living with someone who has tested positive.

Furthermore, if you have any symptoms – a high temperature, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you must self-isolate.

This self-isolation task extends to you if you live with anyone presenting symptoms.

In addition, anybody in support bubbles who have tested positive or are showing symptoms must stay at home.

Self-isolation requires staying at home at all times for seven days (at the moment).

This means ordering food and medicine deliveries to your doorstep, working from home if possible or not at all, and not allowing any visitors into your home.

The only personnel allowed to enter your home during self-isolation is people proving essential care.

Moreover, self-isolation requires any exercise to be done within the household, and not outside.

People who have tested positive or presented symptoms must self-isolate for seven days.

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The Telegraph states that Health Secretary Matt Hancock and deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam will extend this to 10 days.

Professor Tam is expected to highlight new research to underpin this change in government direction.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, Mr Hancock admitted he was “worried about a second wave”.

He continued: “I think you can see a second wave, starting to roll across Europe.

“We’ve got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores and tackle it.

“And the measures that the chief medical officer will set out later are part of that.”

At present, self-isolation advice suggests staying at home for 14 days should the following apply:

  • Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • You’ve been told by NHS Test and Trace that you’ve been in contact with someone who has coronavirus

The beginning of self-isolation begins the first day someone was tested (later to be revealed it was positive).

Or, self-isolation begins when the first person in your home or support bubble started having symptoms.

Should you develop symptoms during self-isolation, do order an online test kit from the NHS.

Even if the results are negative, you must continue self-isolating until that 14-day period is up.

However, if the test results come back positive, you must self-isolate for seven days from the moment symptoms appear – even if this means self-isolating for longer than 14 days.

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