Changes to self-isolation rules

From Monday 17 January, people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after 5 full days, as long as they test negative on day 5 and day 6.
Scrabble pieces spelling out Stay home

It is crucial that people isolating with COVID-19 wait until they have received 2 negative rapid lateral flow tests on 2 consecutive days to reduce the chance of still being infectious.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 6 are strongly advised to wear face coverings and limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home if they can do so and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.

The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. If an individual is positive on day 5, then a negative test is required on day 6 and day 7 to release from isolation.

Keep up to date on the latest Government guidance

Existing public health measures remain in place, including:

  • staying at home if you feel unwell
  • getting a test if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms
  • wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces
  • working from home if possible
  • maintaining social distancing and regular hand washing
  • taking up the offer of the free COVID-19 vaccine

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