The advice on this page is related to babies and children up to age 12 who are told to isolate.
If your child is told to isolate they need to:
- stay at home
- avoid contact with other people
- wear a medical, respirator or well-fitted face mask around other people, depending on their age
It's not possible to ask young children to isolate on their own. They will need an adult to look after them.
When your child needs to isolate
Your child will need to isolate from other people if they:
- develop symptoms of COVID-19
- test positive for COVID-19 - this is either through a PCR or antigen test
How long your child needs to isolate
If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, they need to isolate from other people (stay at home) until 48 hours after their symptoms are mostly or fully gone.
Positive test result
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 and has symptoms, they need to stay in isolation until when both of these apply:
- they have not had a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or over) or other symptoms for 48 hours
- it has been 7 days since they first developed symptoms
It's OK for them to stop isolating after 7 days if they only have a mild cough or changes to their sense of smell – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone.
If they tested positive but did not have symptoms, they need to isolate for 7 days. This is from the day they got tested.
Negative test result
If your child gets a negative result, they can stop isolating once they have had no symptoms for 48 hours.
Choose one carer to look after your child
Where possible, only 1 person should look after your child while they isolate. This should be someone who is in good health and fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if possible.
Do not ask someone to care for your child if they:
- have a long-term illness
- have a weak immune system
- are at high risk from COVID-19
People your child lives with
People in the household should:
- watch out for symptoms of COVID-19
- take extra care to follow the advice on protecting others from COVID-19
Most people do not need to get a COVID-19 test.
If anyone else develops symptoms
If anyone else in the household develops symptoms they should:
- self-isolate (stay in their room)
- wear a medical, respirator or well-fitted face mask when they are around other people, depending on their age
Certain groups of people with symptoms should get a COVID-19 test.
Last updated: 3 March 2022 at 2.15pm