Coronavirus update: The UK is at a ‘tipping point’ – do you need to self-isolate?

Coronavirus update: The UK is at a ‘tipping point’ – do you need to self-isolate?

The government has announced fines of up to £10,000 for people who fail to self-isolate when they’re supposed to. Here are the criteria for when you need to stay indoors.

The public has been encouraged to alert the police when neighbours are seen flouting the rules.

“This country faces a tipping point,” said Mr Hancock. “If everybody follows the rules – and we’ll be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns.”

What are the rules?

The Metropolitan Police have specific rules depending on if you’re in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

In England, “gatherings of more than six people are banned indoors and outdoors” – exceptions apply in schools and workplaces, and other exemptions can be found here.

Breaches of this rule is against the law, and the police are able to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £3,200.

From Monday, September 28, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus.


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Moreover, people told by the NHS Test and Trace system to self-isolate will be lawfully obliged to do so.

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Ministers are in talks with the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to make the rule nation-wide, reported ITV.

When to self-isolate

The NHS urges people who are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus to order a free, NHS coronavirus test.

Symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

You’ll need to book your test as soon as you’re showing those symptoms mentioned above.


At present, people are experiencing difficulties with getting a test booked.

However, if you’re within five days of presenting symptoms, keep trying on the NHS website.

Some drive-through testing centres may be miles and miles away, but if you put in a walking test site, you may be able to get one nearer to you.

If you’re able to park near the walk-in test centre, this may be a better option for you.

The NHS confirmed that while you wait for a test, you must self-isolate until you get your results – this is likely to arrive to you via text or email within 72 hours.

If you don’t get your results within 72 hours, call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland). The contact centre is open from 7am to 11pm.

Anyone you live with must also self-isolate, as well as anyone in your support bubble.

Negative coronavirus test result

If you receive a negative coronavirus test result, you no longer need to self-isolate.

Positive coronavirus test result

If you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll need to continue self-isolating.

If you had a test because you had symptoms of the contagious disease, keep self-isolating for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.

If you had the test but didn’t have symptoms, then you’ll need to self-isolate for 10 days from the day you got the test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started self-isolating.

An “unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive” test result, you must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when symptoms began.

For more information, visit the NHS website.

Published at Sun, 20 Sep 2020 15:55:39 +0000