It may not be possible for some people with COVID-19 to self-isolate. For example, a child, older person or someone with a disability.
They will need your help with daily activities like washing, eating or going to the bathroom.
You and everyone else in the household need to take extra care to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Restrict your movements
If you are caring for someone who cannot self-isolate, you and the rest of the household should restrict your movements for 17 days. This means staying at home as much as possible to avoid contact with other people.
Do this from when the person you are caring for first developed symptoms. This includes the 10 days of the person's isolation and for 7 days after their isolation period ends.
If they have no symptoms and their test is positive, restrict your movements for 17 days from the date of their test.
Do not go to the shops or pharmacy unless it's absolutely necessary. Where possible, have your groceries or medicine delivered or have some family or friends drop them off.
Only have one carer
If possible, only one person should look after the person self-isolating. This should be someone who is in good health, if possible.
This means someone who is not at risk of severe infection such as someone:
- with a long-term illness
- with a weak immune system
- older than 70
Caring for someone in isolation
If you are caring for someone in isolation, you should also:
- wash your hands properly every time you have contact with the person
- if you have to clean phlegm or spit from their face, use a clean tissue, put it into a waste bag and wash your hands
- put them in a well-ventilated room
- limit their movement in the house
- get them to use a different bathroom if possible
- keep them away from older people, people with long-term conditions or pregnant women
Face coverings and face masks
Both of you should wear a face mask when you have to be in the same room, if possible. If you have one, wear a medical face mask.
If you do not have medical face masks, cloth face coverings will also help.
If you live with someone else and you are self-isolating
Last updated: 01 February 2021 at 3.20pm