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Support if you need to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

Self-isolation support

What is isolation?

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

I've been told to self-isolate, what do I need to do?

The rules on self-isolation have changed. Close contacts of a positive case (including households) no longer need to self-isolate if they are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • are under the age of 18 and 6 months
  • can’t have the vaccination for medical reasons
  • or have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • Close contacts must however take a PCR test and then isolate if positive or if they have any symptoms.  Young children aged four and under do not need a PCR if they are a close contact, only if they have symptoms or someone in their house tests positive.
  • If you need support getting a child to school, where there is a positive or symptomatic case in the household and no support is available from family or friends, please contact your school for help.

However, if you don't meet the above criteria and have 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.

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.    

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, if they don't meet self-isolation exemption criteria
  • Keep separate from the infected person
  • If you must share spaces, create a rota to minimise time together
  • More information on reducing household transmission.

Why is self-isolation important?

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.

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.

Children and coronavirus

If you want to discuss COVID with your child there are lots of great resources on www.each.org.uk

More information on coronavirus for parents and families


If you have pets

If you’re self-isolating and are unable to meet the needs of your pet you should make alternative arrangements to take care of your animal’s welfare. You should ask for support from others who are not self-isolating or use professional services.

Battersea has useful information for anyone who has a cat or dog and needs advice as to how to best care for their pet while they are isolating.

Government guidance on a range of animals you may be taking care of and advice around caring for them in the current situation. 

If you care for someone

When you have to self-isolate you may find that you need support to ensure that someone you care for is provided with support until your isolation ends or you are feeling well enough to continue taking care of them.

If you would like advice from Adult Social Care, contact Single Point of Access- 0300 555 0055.

If you would like to arrange care yourself or are a self-funder (have savings over the threshold £23,250) we have a list of approved providers.


International travel

From 17 May, the ‘Stay in the UK’ regulation will cease and international travel will be allowed to restart, governed by a new traffic light system.

People should not be travelling to amber or red countries.

There are certain rules on quarantine and testing when returning from green, amber and red countries. 

Government guidance on how to quarantine when you arrive in England.

For further support or if you have information to assist us in reducing the spread of COVID, please call the COVID support team on 01384 817800 (leave an answer machine message if the line is busy) or email at COVIDSupport@dudley.gov.uk and we will get back to you.

10 step plan to staying at home safely

Step 1 - Managing Covid from home

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 tested positive for 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.

NHS advice on how to manage your symptoms at home.

Step 2 - Essential supplies

If you can't order essentials online, you may be able to enlist family, friends or neighbours to do a shop or pick up prescriptions for you.

Many supermarkets have set up telephone food shopping for vulnerable customers

  • Morrisons 0345 611 6111
  • Co-op 0800 435 902
  • Sainsbury's 0800 328 1700
  • Waitrose - 0800 022 4055
  • Local independent retailers may also have put telephone services in place.
  • NHS Volunteer Responders can pick up your shopping and/or medication and deliver it to you call 0808 196 3646 (7 days a week 8am-8pm). They also provide a check in and chat service
  • Pleased to Meet You- If you are age 60+ or younger with a specific need i.e. physical and/or sensory disability, dementia or learning disability, you can contact Dudley Council’s Pleased to Meet You support service on 01384 812761 Mon to Fri, 9am to 4pm, they can provide help with arranging grocery shopping or medicine supplies and time to talk services to help with social isolation
  • Keep a note of our self-isolation welfare number in case you find you need support to isolate safely. Call the welfare team on 01384 818886 (leave an answer machine message if the line is busy) or email at ContactTracing@dudley.gov.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we are able.

Step 3 - Reduce household transmission

There are things you can do to reduce the chances of spreading any infection to the people you live with. More information on reducing household transmission.

Step 4 - Financial support

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? 

You or your close contact must have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information to be eligible for this fund. 

Apply for this payment and find more details on our financial support page.

Don't forget to ask your boss about sick pay. If you need an isolation note visit 111.

Step 5 - Looking after your mental wellbeing

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.

More information on how to keep safe and well during the pandemic.

The Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation 24-7 mental health support helpline which is available for adults, older adults, children and young people requiring urgent mental health support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Call 0345 646 0827, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Press 1 if you live in Sandwell or Wolverhampton. Press 2 if you live in Dudley or Walsall.

Other services and resources

Step 6 - Keep active if you can

Keep Active

If you are feeling well 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, and activities for older people, pregnant women, families and people with health problems or a disability.

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

Visit lets-get.com, your local website for healthy lifestyles or sitting, home based and strength exercises

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.


Step 7 - Eat well and stay hydrated

Stay Hydrated

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.

Eat Well

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:

Step 8 - Drink less and stop smoking

Stop Smoking

Smoking can lead to a weaker immune system, therefore putting people at greater risk of developing a severe complication from the Covid-19 virus. There are services available in Dudley to help you quit.

Get help from Let's Get Healthy Dudley

Keep an eye on your alcohol intake

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:

NHS – Drink less

Step 9 - Stay connected

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?

Step 10 - Keep occupied

Self-isolating can be boring and frustrating. It can affect your mood and wellbeing. Here are some useful tips on how to stay occupied:

  • Speak to friends and family over the phone, letters, email, contact face to face virtually – range of virtual platforms available
  • Do things that you enjoy - reading, cooking, indoor hobbies, watching your favourite TV show, listening to the radio, DIY
  • Join a virtual film / book club
  • Join your local Dudley libraries and explore their online catalogue from ebooks to audiobooks and DVDs
  • Virtual art gallery and museum tours via National Gallery, Tate Art and V&M museum or try something more local Discover Dudley
  • Spend time doing things you have been putting off - paperwork, have a spring clean (household and electronic!), learn a new skill, or try online learning
  • Podcasts such as Apple podcasts, Player FM, Stitcher, Audible, Podcast player, Google Podcasts and Acast offer a wide range of subjects for you to listen to and enjoy.
  • Set yourself a daily goal so you feel like you have achieved something. At the end of the day think about a good thing that has happened that day
  • Keep a daily schedule of who to contact so you can speak to a different person each day
  • Adult and Community Learning have a range of FREE courses that you can access online at home. We offer English, Maths, Computers, Sign Language, Photography, Creative Crafts, Floristry and Art. Please call ACL on 01384  818143 or email acl.dudley.gov.uk for more information.

If you have an enquiry about NHS Test and Trace, or would like to give feedback or make a complaint visit: https://enquiries.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/s/