Self-isolation support pack

You can use this guide to help you through your self-isolation period.  

On 16 August 2021, the rules around self-isolation changed. Close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case are no longer legally required to self-isolate as long as they have had two COVID-19 vaccinations more than 14 days ago. We recommend that all close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases seek a PCR test as soon as possible and self-isolate until they receive their result. Close contacts of positive cases still have to complete 10 days of isolation if:

  • They have not been vaccinated
  • They have only received one vaccination
  • They have not completed a 14 day period since their second vaccination

If you've been advised to self-isolate, you need to do this for 10 days. Your 10-day isolation will start after either:

  • The day that your symptoms started, or
  • From the day of your COVID-19 test

Self-isolation guide 

Download the self-isolation support pack or view the content below:

​Isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you've been advised to self-isolate, you need to do this for 10 days.

Your 10-day isolation will start after either:

  • The day that your symptoms started, or the day of the test if you had no symptoms (for both those who have tested positive and their household members).
  • The day you were last in contact with the person who tested positive for coronavirus (for close contacts outside the household).

If you were isolating as a contact of someone who tested positive and then you develop symptoms yourself, your 10-day isolation period needs to re-start from the day you get symptoms.    

If you live with other people and anyone in your household tests positive, everyone has to self-isolate and follow this guidance.

The person who tests positive should isolate for 10 days and:

  • Use their own bathroom and towels and clean after each use
  • Use the kitchen separately
  • Eat in their own room and wash their own cutlery and crockery
  • Stay in their room and isolate from the rest of the household

Other members of the household should:

  • Self-isolate at home for 10 days, even if they have a negative test result
  • Keep separate from the infected person
  • If you must share spaces, create a rota to minimise time together

People can pass on the virus even when they don't have symptoms. If you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus it could take up to 10 days for your own symptoms to appear and you could pass the virus onto other people, including those who are vulnerable to very serious illness.

By self-isolating, you are not only protecting your community and those most vulnerable, you are also helping to support the NHS and key workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

It is an incredibly important and effective way of slowing the spread of COVID-19. You must not leave your home if you're self-isolating.

If you are asked to self-isolate you must do so by the law.

Remember you could be fined if you do not self-isolate.

  • Do not go to work, school or public places
  • On public transport or use taxis
  • Do not go out to get food and medicine

Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care

Do not go out to exercise unless within your own private garden.

Self-isolation means that you cannot leave your house for 10 days. It is important that you stick to these rules to help protect those around you.

My isolation check list:

  • Help to get online
  • Food deliveries
  • Prescription Medication
  • Help with utility bills e.g. topping up energy meters
  • Posting mail
  • Care of pets e.g. someone to walk my dog
  • Financial support e.g. self- isolation support payment
  • I have arrangements in place to support my wellbeing
  • Friends, families and co-workers I can connect with
  • Know where to access support if I feel lonely, anxious or overwhelmed or need specific help

The Community Resilience Hub can help you to get support.

North Northamptonshire residents (Corby, East Northants, Kettering or Wellingborough)

Call 0300 126 3000 or for non-urgent enquiries or you are unable to speak on the phone, please email

West Northamptonshire residents (Daventry, Northampton or South Northants)

Call 0300 126 7000 or for non-urgent enquiries or you are unable to speak on the phone, please email

If you're struggling with your mental health, you can get support 24/7 directly by calling 0800 448 0828.

Children and young people struggling with their health and wellbeing can get advice and support by texting the school nurse service on 07507 329600.

A number of things have been listed to promote health and wellbeing and promote positive mental health:

Have a routine

Develop a new daily routine that works for you. This could include regular waking up and bedtimes, planned mealtimes, and time to be physically active.

Stay relaxed

Find a relaxation or meditation practice that works for you and practice it once a day for at least 10 minutes.

Keep occupied

Continue with your current interests or explore new ones. You could try a hobby that you used to enjoy but haven't had the time for.

What is 'coronavirus'?

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is probably making you feel a bit sad and different at the moment. But that's ok, because everyone is feeling the same. COVID-19 is an illness that can affect people's breathing and lungs. It can be passed from person to person through coughing or touching, which is why we have to stay away from our friends and family just for now.

Luckily, young people aren't really getting too ill but you can still spread it without knowing you have it. You still need to do the amazing things you're doing by following the rules and wearing a mask.

How can I stop the spread?

The Government is asking you to think about hands, face, space. What this means is that you need to remember to do 3 things to keep yourself and others safe.

Hands: Remember to wash or sanitise your hands regularly for 20 seconds.

Why don't you sing your favourite song to make the time pass quicker?

Face: Cover your face with your mask when you're out at the shops. Why not

get creative and make your mask colourful by adding your own design?

Space: Stay at least 2 metres away from people where you can.

If you don't think you know how far that is, ask an adult or think about the length of a horse.

Why am I worried?

It's normal to be worried, but there's no need to worry too much. Everything's a little bit weird at the minute, isn't it? This won't last forever and feeling worried is one way that our bodies remind us to take care of ourselves.

There are some important things we all need to do to stay safe, like washing our hands, wearing face masks when we need to, and staying at home if we are told to.

If you're stuck at home for now and helping to keep each other safe, we can still enjoy life and do some fun things!

​Get your mum and dad, parent or guardian, to print off the bingo card and count off the days before you can stop self-isolating!

Once you've filled it in, tell us what you got up to and send a picture to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #NorthantsTogether for the chance to win a prize!

Most children are safe at home. But we know that some of you are not. If your school has closed and you are not feeling safe at home, here are some people that you can call:

0800 1111 or in an emergency, always call the police on 999.

How can I help if my family are isolating?

Self-isolating is hard and boring but you're not alone. It's the same for your family too! Here's 2 handy hints of things you could do to cheer them up. Members of your household might feel poorly and need to rest if they have the virus. Why not offer to do the tidying and washing to give them a break. Keep them smiling, learn some jokes or dances and keep everyone.

What can I do to have some fun?

Staying at home isn't fun, and we know that! It can get really boring but now there's no excuse for not doing your homework!

Once you've done that, here are some fun ideas for you to think about when you're spending time at home:

Play some games

Have you tried any of the Disney Shake Up Games?

Fun fact: David Beckham used to practice with a tennis ball as well as a football!

Do some drawing

If you're feeling worried, sad or lonely, a great way to get your emotions down is to

draw how you feel and create a colourful picture to help you feel happier. You should always speak to someone if you feel that way too, adults will understand.

Set up a 'virtual' chat with your friends

Why not catch up with friends on a video call so that you can feel better and know they haven't gone anywhere. Remember to check with an adult before you do this!

10 day stay at home plan

​This is the day that you develop symptoms, get a test or that a close contact or someone you live with develops symptoms or gets a test.

Being prepared can help your isolation period run more smoothly. Have you thought about planning everything you might need to stay safe at home for the next 10 days?

If you are isolating because you have coronavirus, it's important to get medical help if your symptoms get worse. If your symptoms do get worse and you're not sure what to do, call 111.

Thank you for doing your bit and keeping people safe. Did you know that if you are self-isolating (either because you have had a positive COVID-19 test result or you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19) and if you cannot work from home during this period, you may be eligible for a self-isolation support payment of up to £500.

To apply for this payment please contact your local borough council or find more details on our test and trace payment support webpage.

Remember that every day you stay at home helps to reduce the risk of infection for those in your community. Self-isolation can be a worrying time so don't forget to look after your mental wellbeing. Research has shown that people who are more aware of sensations, thoughts and feelings, have enhanced mental wellbeing.

This is also known as "mindfulness". Have you taken a moment to truly focus on yourself today? How about taking some time to learn some mindfulness techniques? You can find some on the pocket mindfulness website.

Other services and resources

Northamptonshire Mental Health Helpline 0800 448 0828

Movement can really help to boost your mood, especially when you are stuck indoors. How will you move today? There are lots of online programmes to help you get fit and active.

How about trying these? Sport England's 'Join the Movement' page has links to lots of popular online training programmes from yoga and Pilates courses to cardio and strengthening programmes as well as kid's activities including Disney dance programmes.

For more activities to keep children active the Change4Life website has a range of "10-minute shake ups" involving Disney characters to choose from.

If you're isolating because you have coronavirus you might not feel like much today but keeping moving in any way at all is important.

​Staying in contact with people is really important for your wellbeing, and especially if you're isolating at home. Have you connected with friends, family or colleagues since you started your isolation?

How about reaching out to someone today to tell them about how you are getting on?

There are lots of people who are using social media during their self- isolation period to reach out to others who are staying at home. Is there a self-isolation Facebook group in your local community where people are sharing tips?

You're over half way there! Keeping hydrated is important but is especially so when you're poorly or fighting off an infection. Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth.

​Thank you for continuing to do your bit. Don't forget to nourish your body during this time even if your appetite is different to normal. What meals and snacks are you planning today?

You may still be working from home during your self-isolation but there are plenty of easy meal ideas via the NHS One You website that you can knock up in no time.

Lots of people will be struggling with their finances at this time but it's easier than you think to eat well on a budget. Arranging online delivery can actually help plan your shopping better and save some money by avoiding impulse buys! Try these top tips:

​Well done, you're nearly there!

We know that for some people, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of drinking alcohol regularly at home when you're in self-isolation or quarantine. Have you noticed your alcohol intake go up? These tips on the "One You" website should be helpful:

​Thank you for doing your bit and keeping people safe. You might be starting to feel more motivated with only a few more days of isolation left but it can be hard to stay positive during these challenging times. Let's change our way of thinking and challenge those negative thoughts. Write down five things you are grateful for today.

​Well done for persevering and helping to protect your community!

What are you planning to do when you leave isolation? Perhaps go for a walk and take in some nature?

Well done, you have finished your 10 days of self-isolation.