Accessibility Skip to main content

National Guidance: Autumn and Winter plan

For us to have a safe and unrestricted winter, we need everyone to remain vigilant and comply with guidance. Everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, should follow behaviours and actions that reduce transmission and help to keep people safe.

To find out more about the Autumn and Winter plan see GOV.UK.

Back to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Self-isolation information and support

What to do and help available if you have to self-isolate

The self-isolation rules for COVID-19 cases have recently changed. Please ensure you know the latest government rules.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. This still applies even if you have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

People who have contact with a positive case and are aged over 18 years and 6 months and are not fully vaccinated prior to contact are legally required to self-isolate

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • you are fully vaccinated
  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.

NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible. 

Children under the age of five

Children under the age of five need only take a PCR test if they are contacts of a case in their own household.

What does self-isolating mean?

Self-isolating is a legal requirement. It means that you should not leave your home for the time specified by NHS Test and Trace. Fines can be issued to those who do not comply.

What to do if you have to self-isolate

  • Stay at home for the time specified by NHS Test and Trace. Do not have visitors to your home.
  • If you work, you should let your employer know that you are isolating while waiting for your test results.
  • If the person with symptoms is a schoolchild or young person, please let the school know they have symptoms and that they, are self-isolating while waiting for results.

If someone else in your household develops symptoms of COVID-19 

They must also book a free COVID-19 test.

If you or your household need medical advice

If it is a medical emergency, call 999 and inform the call handler that you, or someone in your household, have COVID-19 symptoms.

If it’s not an emergency, contact the NHS 111 online or call NHS 111.


If you are self-isolating, you may need some extra support. This can be financial, practical or emotional and wellbeing. Or you may be at risk of domestic abuse or being made homeless.

Financial support

If you are on a low income and are unable to work from home you may be entitled to a Test and Trace support payment.

Practical support

If you need help while self-isolating, for example for food shopping, prescriptions contact the Torbay Help Hub.

Emotional wellbeing support

We know that staying at home for a long period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely. It’s important to take care of your emotional wellbeing. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone, by text and over social media.

Tools, resources and advice if you need help:

It’s also important to keep physically active while self-isolating. Exercise in your home, garden or private outdoor space if you feel well enough.  There is a wide range of health and wellbeing support on offer so here are some key pages for you to start with.

If you are at risk of domestic violence

If you or your family are in immediate danger don't be afraid to call the police on 999.

Otherwise please contact the Police on the non-emergency number 101.

The Are You OK? website provides information to anyone in Torbay who wants to find out:

  • more about domestic abuse and violence
  • how to access local help and support services
  • how to support someone experiencing abuse or violence.

They have published an article to help people who are anxious about self-isolating because of COVID-19.

If you are risk of being made homeless

If you are concerned that you may be about to lose your home, contact our housing team.

More information

Government guidance Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

Contact Public Health