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Support during self-isolation

Self-isolating may feel daunting, inconvenient, and frustrating and you may be unsure how the next ten days will go.

When to self-isolate 

If you do feel unwell and have Covid symptoms, even mild ones, you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test.

You should also self-isolate straight away if:

Make a plan 

  • Ensure important necessities like food and medicine are taken care of, you can order groceries online to be delivered and phone your GP or local pharmacy for repeat prescriptions to be delivered for free.
  • If you are unable to work from home and have been asked to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500. 
  • If you have a pay as you go or prepay utility meter, you cannot leave the house to top it up so think of who you can ask to help or check if you can pay online or over the phone.
  • If you have a pet or a dog that needs walking, figure out who can do this; a neighbour, friend, or non-household family member.
  • It’s important to factor in entertainment and relaxation. Perhaps start a new indoor hobby, download interesting podcasts and apps or you could invest in entertainment by ordering a streaming service - many of which have free trials. 

Remember, you can contact NHS Responders, set up to help anyone in England who needs to self-isolate for any reason with local volunteers who can offer practical support. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

What if I have been vaccinated? 

  • You must self-isolate even if you have received one or two doses of any Covid vaccine. This is because you could still spread the virus to others even if you yourself aren’t experiencing any symptoms.

Stay healthy

  • It’s important to keep active during your self-isolation period. As you can’t head outside or to the gym, look to YouTube for online fitness classes including HIIT, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and so on. If you are a gym member, ask if they have online classes too.
  • As you are buying your groceries online or someone is shopping for you, be mindful of what meals you are planning, being mindful of your sugar and alcohol intake.
  • Invest in cook books, watch cookery shows on TV,  or look online for nutritious, easy to make recipes - you could make cooking a new hobby!
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are running a fever that often comes with Covid.

Stay positive

  • Mental wellbeing is vital during this time, apps such as Calm, Insight Timer, and Headspace are great for meditating which is proven to slow your heart rate, helping with anxiety.
  • Staying social when self-isolating could feel more difficult but talking to friends and family virtually is recommended. Skype, Zoom, and most social media platforms enable you to make video calls.
  • If meditation isn't for you, other practical hobbies such as jigsawing, painting, and knitting will also be good to indulge in.
  • Planning your post-isolation celebration will also help - even if that’s just a walk, a shopping trip, or a social gathering within the latest government guidelines.

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