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Information on self-isolation

From 16 August if you are fully vaccinated or under 18 you will not need to self-isolate following close contact with someone who has COVID-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive. Anyone testing positive will be required to self-isolate, whether they are fully vaccinated or not. ‘Fully vaccinated’ means 14 days after completing a full course of vaccination in the UK, whether that requires two doses or one dose. Please note that in accordance with government regulations, COVID vaccination administered outside the UK does not qualify for the self-isolation exemption. If you have been vaccinated outside the UK, and you are a household or close contact of a positive case, you are legally required to self-isolate.

The basic principles as to the period of self-isolation are as outlined here: Stay at home guidance for households with possible COVID-19 infection

If you have symptoms or a positive test

  1. If you develop symptoms you must self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
  2. If you access a test (from the University or NHS) because you are showing symptoms, and it is positive, the start date for self-isolation is the date of the onset of symptoms.
  3. If you receive a positive test result from the asymptomatic testing screening programme you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date your individual sample was taken (NOT from the date of the pooled test). 

If you are informed you have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive

  1. If you are informed either via the NHS Test & Trace or University COVID Helpdesk that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and you have not been fully vaccinated in the UK, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the day you last saw the person who has tested positive. Your household does not also need to isolate unless you or someone in the household develops symptoms or receives a positive test. Take a PCR test either through the University Testing Process ‘Test to check’ or an NHS-approved test. If it is positive, you will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days from the date of the test. If it is negative, you will need to complete the original 10 days of self-isolation only.
  2. If you have been fully vaccinated in the UK, you are still advised to take a PCR test to allow for infection to be identified. However, you will only need to self-isolate for 10 days if it is positive.

If someone in your household has symptoms or receives a positive test

  1. If you are a member of a household where an individual has either developed symptoms or received a positive test result you must self-isolate for 10 days, from the date on which that person either developed symptoms or the test sample was taken, unless you have been fully vaccinated in the UK.
  2. For students self-isolating for 10 days as members of a household where there is a confirmed case, this period is not extended beyond 10 days if another member of the same household goes on to develop symptoms or receive a positive test within that 10 days.
  3. Once all members in an affected household have completed the appropriate period of self-isolation, the ‘clock’ is reset. If any new cases develop in the household after the first period of isolation is complete, members of the household will need to self-isolate according to this guidance again.

Any student who has previously had a confirmed case of COVID-19 whether symptomatic or asymptomatic must self-isolate with the rest of their household if another member tests positive, unless they have been vaccinated in the UK. This is because it is not guaranteed that immunity is acquired through a previous infection.

If a member of your household has developed symptoms or received a positive test result, and you develop symptoms yourself

  1. If you are experiencing symptoms, including while you are already self-isolating, you should follow the steps above to report your symptoms and book a test.
  2. If you are already self-isolating and go on to develop symptoms yourself, and receive a positive test, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. 
  3. If you develop symptoms and receive a negative test result you must still complete the initial 10 days of self-isolation.