Self-isolation – what you need to know
It is a legal obligation in England to self-isolate if asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.
This is to ensure individuals, who test positive or are identified as close contacts, self-isolate and minimise the possibility of transmitting COVID-19.
If people do not comply they will be subject to fines of at least £1,000 and up to a maximum £10,000 for repeat or very serious offences.
From Monday 16 August, people who are double jabbed or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
You’re not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and any of the following apply:
- you’re fully vaccinated (received both jabs)
- you’re below the age of 18 years 6 months
- you’ve taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you’re not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
If you are not fully vaccinated (have not received both jabs)
If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace because you live with someone that has COVID-19 or have been a close contact of someone that has tested positive, you must self-isolate and follow the stay-at-home guidance.
If you test positive
If you test positive for COVID-19 you will still need to self-isolate regardless of your vaccination status or age.
When self-isolating, follow the stay-at-home guidance. This will help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other members of your household and community. You must stay at home at all times and not have contact with other people.
Practical and financial support for self-isolation
We may be able to help with practical support if you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate. NHS Test and Trace will instruct you to self-isolate if any of the following apply:
- you have tested positive for COVID-19 regardless of your vaccination status or age
- you are not fully vaccinated (received both jabs) and live with someone that has COVID-19 or have been a close contact of someone that has tested positive