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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

Close contact

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:

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

If our contact tracing team contact you, they will arrange a test for you. Otherwise, phone your GP to arrange 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.

Read more about self-isolation.

Find out when you should call your GP to be assessed for a test

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

Read more about self-isolation.

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. 

Read about how to protect yourself and others.

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:

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.

Related topics

If you live with other people and are self-isolating

Contact tracing 

Treat coronavirus symptoms at home

Travel advice from the Government

Join the Fight Against Coronavirus.

Download the CovidTracker app