What to do if you have coronavirus or symptoms of Covid-19

You are no longer legally required to self-isolate, however you should try to stay at home and away from others to avoid passing on the virus if you:

  • have any symptoms of Covid-19 and have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities
  • have tested positive for Covid-19

It is important that you avoid being in close contact with people at higher risk from Covid-19, particularly if their immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, even if they have had the vaccine.

When can I go back to normal activities if I have symptoms of Covid-19 and a high temperature?

You can go back to your normal activities if you feel well enough to do so and no longer have a high temperature.

If my child has symptoms of Covid-19 and a high temperature, when can they go back to education/childcare?

Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.

When can I go back to normal activities if I have tested positive for Covid-19?

If you have Covid-19, you can pass on the virus to other people for up to 10 days from when your infection starts. However, many people will not be infectious to others after 5 days.

You should therefore:

  • try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days from the day after you did the test
  • avoiding meeting people at higher risk from Covid-19 for 10 days from the day after you did the test, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, even if they have had the vaccine.

What should I do if my child tests positive for Covid-19?

If a child or young person aged 18 or under tests positive for Covid-19, they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days from the day after they did the test.

Children and young people tend to be infectious to others for less time than adults. If they’re well and do not have a temperature after 3 days, there’s a much lower risk that they’ll pass on Covid-19 to others.

  • try to work from home if you can – if you’re unable to work from home, ask your employer about options available to you
  • stay at home if you can – this helps reduce the number of people you have contact with
  • avoid contact with people at higher risk from Covid-19
  • follow advice on how to avoid spreading Covid-19 to people you live with
  • let people who need to come into your home know that you’ve tested positive or have symptoms – they can then take steps to protect themselves, such as wearing a face covering that fits well, staying away from you as much as they can, and washing their hands regularly
  • contact your healthcare provider and tell them about your positive test result or symptoms if you’re asked to attend a medical or dental appointment in person
  • ask friends, family or neighbours to get food or other essentials for you

If you have to leave your home, you can take the following steps to avoid passing Covid-19 to others:

  • wear a face covering that fits snugly against your face and has more than 1 layer
  • avoid contact with people at higher risk from Covid-19
  • avoid indoor or crowded places (including public transport or large social gatherings) or where there is not much fresh air
  • do any exercise outdoors and where you will not be in close contact with other people
  • avoid touching your face
  • cover your hands and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser, after you cough, sneeze or blow your nose, and before you eat and handle food

To view the full guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including Covid-19, or a positive test result, please visit gov.uk.