If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get the result.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.
Self-isolate for at least 10 days
You must self-isolate for at least 10 days if:
- you have symptoms of coronavirus and you tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test
- you tested positive but have not had symptoms
If you have symptoms, the 10 days starts from when they started.
If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days starts from when you had the test. But if you get symptoms after your test, self-isolate for a further 10 days from when your symptoms start.
Stop self-isolating after 10 days if you feel OK
You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if either:
- you do not have any symptoms
- you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone
Keep self-isolating if you feel unwell
Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:
- a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
- a runny nose or sneezing
- feeling or being sick
Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.
Self-isolate for 14 days
You must self-isolate for 14 days if you live with (or are in a support bubble with) someone who:
- has symptoms of coronavirus and tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test
- tested positive but has not had symptoms
This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
The 14 days starts from:
- when the first person in your home or support bubble started having symptoms
- the day they were tested, if they have not had symptoms – but if they get symptoms after they were tested, self-isolate for a further 14 days from when their symptoms start
Stop self-isolating after 14 days if you do not get symptoms
You can stop self-isolating after 14 days if you do not get any symptoms.
Keep self-isolating and get a test if you get symptoms
Get a test to check if you have coronavirus if you get symptoms while you're self-isolating.
If your test is negative, you must keep self-isolating for the rest of the 14 days.
If your test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. This might mean you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days overall.
Information taken from NHS website (October 2020)