Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
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How long should self-isolation last?

How long to self isolate

  1. If you have symptoms or have tested positive
  2. If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
  3. If you've been told to self-isolate by Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app
  4. Self-isolation at Warwick update (06 November)

1) If you have symptoms or have tested positive

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.

Can I mix with my household or kitchen group?

No, if you have symptoms you need to self-isolate and stay away from other people as much as possible.

When to stop self-isolating

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
  • diarrhoea

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.


2) If you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive

Self-isolate for 10 days

You must self-isolate for 10 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 10 days for symptoms to appear.

The 10 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 10 days from when their symptoms start

Can I mix with my household or kitchen group?

No, if you or someone else in your household or kitchen group has symptoms, you all need to self-isolate and stay away from other people as much as possible.

When to stop self-isolating

You can stop self-isolating after 10 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 10 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 10 days overall.


3) If you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app

Self-isolate for 10 days

Self-isolate for 10 days if either:

  • you get a text, email or call from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • you get an alert from the NHS Covid-19 app telling you to self-isolate

This is because you've been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus and there's a chance you might have caught it.

You need to self-isolate for 10 days because it can take 10 days for symptoms to appear.

Find out what to do if you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app.

Can I mix with my household or kitchen group?

Yes, as long as you and your kitchen group or household do not have symptoms, you can socialise with other people in your kitchen group or household. You must observe social distancing and wear a mask when mixing with your kitchen group or household.

Self-isolation at Warwick update (06 November)

We have regular ongoing discussions with Local Authority Public Health (LAPH) colleagues to review best practice in isolation of household groups in a university context.

LAPH have confirmed that when people are self-isolating, and subsequently students in the isolating group receive positive tests, they now do not need to ‘restart the clock’ on their self-isolation - only those who subsequently get a positive test. This helps us to avoid putting household groups into repeated isolation.

The 10 days start from the onset of symptoms in the first case in the household (or from the day of a positive test if the individual did not have symptoms). Any student household contact who is well after 10 days can cease isolation, even if there have been further positives in that household. However if anyone in the household develops symptoms after the 10 days they and their household should self-isolate again.

The backing from LAPH in adjusting our self-isolation process has been invaluable in helping us to support the safety and broader wellbeing of our campus community.


Where is this guidance from?

Please note, the advice in the list 1-3 on this page is mostly copied from the NHS 'How long to self-isolate' guidance, although it links to our campus Test and Trace facilities instead. On their page you can also see their advice for what to do if someone in a support bubble has symptoms or tests positive.

We have updated it with local guidance about 'Can I mix with my household or kitchen group'.

Last checked 12/11/2020