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The whole of the UK may be on complete lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, but self isolation is a whole other kettle of fish. There has been much confusion about the difference between lockdown and self-isolation in recent weeks.

We’re here to answer the common self isolation questions to make sure you’re clear on the facts as well as doing your bit to protect your own safety and that of the wider community.

What is self isolation?

Self isolation involves not leaving your home for any reason. Under lockdown, you are permitted to leave your house to stock up on essential supplies, access medical care (if you or a member of your household are not experiencing Covid-19 symptoms), and partake in one form of exercise per day. When self isolating, there are no such freedoms.

If you require food or medicine, you must either order them online or over the phone, or ask a friend or family member to drop these essentials on your doorstep.

You should not permit anyone to enter your home. Exercise should be taken indoors or you can stretch your legs in your garden if you have one.

When do you need to self isolate?

People who have symptoms of Covid-19, or live with a person who does, must self isolate. These symptoms include a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.

If you suspect that you or a member of your household are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you all stay at home. You must not go to your GP, a pharmacy, or your local hospital for diagnosis.

For further advice on whether you have coronavirus symptoms, please use the NHS’ 111 coronavirus service. If you cannot get the help you need online, you can call 111 direct for advice.

People at an increased risk have been advised to self isolate. Those most at risk are people aged 70 or over, pregnant women, and individuals with certain underlying health problems.

People who have transplanted organs, cancer (including blood and bone marrow cancer), severe lung conditions, issues with immunity, or chronic heart problems have been deemed ‘extremely vulnerable’ and should also self isolate.

How long should you self isolate for?

People with coronavirus symptoms should self isolate for a minimum of 7 days. You may be required to self isolate for longer if you still have a high temperature. Only when your temperature has returned to normal can self isolation come to an end.

If, after 7 days you still have a cough but your temperature has returned to normal, you do not need to continue to self isolate. With Covid-19, coughing can persist for several weeks after the virus has gone.

Those living with someone with coronavirus symptoms should self isolate for 14 days from the day symptoms began. People self isolating due to an increased risk should self isolate as much as they can for 12 weeks.

What if you live with others?

Whatever your reason for self isolating, practising social distancing (i.e. staying at least 2 metres or 3 steps apart) is recommended where possible, even within the same household. If you or a family member are the only person experiencing symptoms, Public Health England advises the following:

“It is important that you separate yourself from other people in your home and if you share facilities like toilets and bathrooms, regular cleaning will be required. You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened, separate from other people in your home.”

If multiple people in your household have coronavirus symptoms, the 14-day self isolation period should begin from the first day that the first person started to display symptoms.

What are your self isolation options?

It is recommended that you self isolate at home, but if you have concerns that you could be putting your family or a vulnerable person within your household at risk then you may want to book Citystay’s isolation accommodation.

Our award-winning serviced apartments offer the perfect base for your recovery from confirmed or suspected Covid-19. We also offer key worker accommodation for those working in Cambridge.

Stay in and stay safe with Citystay by calling 01223 420 920 to book your key worker or isolation accommodation.