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Restricted movements (stay at home)

Last updated: 29 October 2020 at 11.50am

Restricting your movements means staying at home to avoid contact with other people. This is sometimes called quarantine.

Restricting your movements helps to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). You can still go outside to exercise by yourself as long as you keep 2 metres away from other people.

When you should restrict your movements

Restrict your movements for 14 days if you:

If you're a close contact of a person that tested positive for COVID-19 you must restrict your movements for 14 days. Do this from when you were last in contact with that person.

You must do this even if your test comes back negative. This is because it can take up to 14 days for the virus to show up in your system after you have been exposed to it.

If you are caring for someone who cannot self-isolate, you and the rest of the household should restrict your movements for 17 days

Read about the difference between self-isolating and restricted movements.

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, unless you work on your own and can completely avoid other people.

Do not go to school or college.

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 go to gatherings such as weddings or funerals - read more about bereavement and grief during COVID-19

Do not meet face-to-face with older people, anyone with a long-term medical condition or pregnant women.

If you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19

Restrict your movements, even if you feel well.

The person who has symptoms should behave as if they have COVID-19 and:

The person you live with may be referred for a test for COVID-19.

If their test is positive you will become a close contact.

If the virus is not detected (negative) in their test, you no longer need to restrict your movements. Continue to follow the advice to protect yourself and others.

If you live with someone waiting for test results

Read advice on what to do if you live with someone who is waiting on test results.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms

Self-isolate and phone your GP if you develop symptoms of COVID-19.

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

Related topics

Close contacts and casual contacts

Contact tracing

Travel advice from the Government

Join the Fight Against Coronavirus.

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