Last updated: 7 July 2020 at 9.30am
You will need to restrict your movements for 14 days if you:
- are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus
- live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, but you feel well
This is only a guide but close contact can mean:
- spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person in any setting
- living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person
You'll usually find out if you are a close contact:
- from our contact tracing team - read about what happens if a contact tracer calls you
- through the COVID Tracker app - read about how the app identifies close contacts
If you are a close contact you should:
You can become a close contact more than once. If you have two separate exposures, you'll need to restrict your movements again.
Getting a test
You may need a second test if your first test was taken soon after your last contact with the infected person.
How to restrict your movements
Restricting your movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.
Do not go to work.
Do not use public transport.
Do not have visitors at your home
Do not visit others, even if you usually care for them.
Do not go to the shops or pharmacy unless it's absolutely necessary - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off.
Do not meet face-to-face with older people, anyone with a long-term medical condition or pregnant women
You will have to restrict your movements for 14 days even if your test comes back negative. It can take up to 14 days for the virus to show up in your system after you have been exposed to it.
You can still go outside to exercise by yourself as long as you keep 2 metres distance from other people.
Follow up from contact tracer
During the 14 days you are restricting your movements a contact tracer will text or phone you to monitor any symptoms you have, if any. If you develop any symptoms of coronavirus, call your GP.
If you develop coronavirus symptoms
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP.
Other people you live with will need to restrict their movements.
If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus
You should restrict your movements for 14 days, even if you feel well.
The person who has symptoms should behave as if they have coronavirus and:
- self-isolate immediately
- phone their GP for advice
The person you live with may be referred for a test for coronavirus.
If their test is positive you will become a close contact. You will need to continue to restrict your movements and get tested.
If this test is negative, you should continue to follow the advice for everyone.
Living with someone who is a confirmed close contact
You may be at risk of catching coronavirus if you are living with a confirmed close contact and they become unwell.
If they get coronavirus, you will become a close contact. This means you will have to restrict your movements.
You can greatly reduce your risk of catching coronavirus by:
- keeping as much distance as possible between yourself and the person who is a close contact
- washing your hands properly and often
- cleaning surfaces and handles in your home regularly
If you are not a close contact
If you are not a close contact and you are feeling well, you do not need to restrict your movements. You should follow the advice about protecting yourself and others from coronavirus.