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Clarity on 7 days or 14 Isolation

Isolation periods.


Understandably there is a lot of confusion regarding isolation, particularly the period of time families should be isolated.


I hope to clarify by posting the guidance issued to schools:


  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.


I appreciate this is not as clear as we would like, but I interpret this as:


  • Household 14 day isolation if anyone has symptoms in your household .
  • 7 days if you live alone.
  • If you are in isolation and on (for example) the 12th day of the isolation you display symptoms, you must be in isolation for a further 7 days, regardless of when you started isolation.