If you live with other people and you are self-isolating

Keep away from other people in your home as much as you can. Stay in a separate room with a window you can open.

If you have to be in the same room

If you have to go into a room with other people in it, try to keep a distance of 2 metres.

If that is not possible, keep a distance of at least 1 metre from other people and wear a medical face mask. Put it on and take it off in the room in which you are self-isolating.

The other person should also wear a medical face mask while in the same room as you.

If you do not have a medical face mask, a cloth face covering will also help.

Read more about face coverings

Sharing things

Do not share any things you’ve used with other people.

Things you should not share include food, eating and drinking utensils, towels and bedding.


Have someone leave your food at your bedroom door, if possible.

When you have finished, leave everything at the door.

Washing dishes

If possible, have someone collect the dishes and put them in a dishwasher. They should wash their hands properly after.

If you don’t have a dishwasher:

  1. Wash dishes in hot soapy water, wearing rubber gloves.
  2. Leave the dishes to air dry.
  3. Wash the rubber gloves while you are still wearing them.
  4. Remove the gloves and wash your hands.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands properly and often. Use soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Coughs and sneezes

When you cough and sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve. Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

Read about how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19

Read about how COVID-19 is spread

Using the bathroom

If possible, use a different bathroom to others.

If that is not possible, clean your hands:

  • before entering the room
  • after using the toilet
  • before leaving the room

Cleaning bathroom surfaces

Clean any surfaces you have touched after using the bath or shower. Do not share your towels with anyone.

If you can, use a bathroom that no one else in the house uses. If you have to share a bathroom, try to use it after other people and then clean it thoroughly.

If you are not well enough to do this yourself, someone else in the house can do this for you.

Protecting yourself when you are cleaning

When cleaning a room or area, you or the person doing the cleaning should:

  • use rubber gloves, if possible
  • wash and dry the gloves after each use while wearing them
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after taking off the gloves

Wash reusable cleaning cloths in a hot wash cycle after use. Put disposable gloves and cleaning cloths in a plastic waste bag after using them.

Use a detergent or disinfectant to clean your home

Many cleaning and disinfectant products sold in supermarkets can kill the virus on surfaces.

Use your usual household products like detergent, disinfectant or disinfectant wipes. These are very good at getting rid of the virus. Follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s label. Check they are suitable for the surface you are cleaning.

What surfaces to clean

Clean all surfaces every day, especially high contact surfaces, including:

  • counters
  • table-tops
  • door handles
  • bathroom fixtures
  • toilets and toilet handles
  • phones
  • keyboards
  • tablets
  • bedside tables

Clean remote controls, games consoles and similar items thoroughly before anyone else uses them. If you cough or sneeze on them, wipe them clean immediately.


Put your dirty laundry in a plastic bag. Have someone collect it from your bedroom door.

If possible, they should wear rubber gloves and:

  • hold the laundry away from themselves
  • wash the laundry at the highest temperature for the material, with a laundry detergent
  • clean all surfaces and the area around the washing machine
  • wash the rubber gloves while still wearing them
  • wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after removing the gloves or handling dirty laundry

If possible, tumble dry and iron laundry using a hot setting or steam iron.

Do not send laundry to a launderette or dry cleaner while you are self-isolating. There's a risk you could spread COVID-19 to people who work there. If you cannot avoid using a launderette, leave your laundry in a bag for 3 days before you take it there. This will be enough time for the virus to die off.​

Managing rubbish

Put personal waste, including used tissues, disposable masks and cleaning waste in a plastic bag. Tie the bag when it is almost full. Place the plastic bag in a second bin bag and tie the bag.

Leave the bag somewhere that is away from other people. The bags should be left for 3 days before the bin collection.

Dispose of any other waste the way you usually would.

Last updated: 3 December at 3pm