Coronavirus (COVID-19): Staying at home and self-isolation

If you have symptoms of, or have been diagnosed with, COVID-19 you must remain at home until you are well.

Staying at home if you have symptoms (self-isolation)

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, do not leave your home for seven days from when your symptoms started. This action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all other household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

More information is available on the gov.uk website

Testing for people with symptoms

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 are now eligible to be tested for it. More information on testing in Northern Ireland is available from the Public Health Agency website.

Ending self-isolation

After 7 days, or longer, if you still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste, you must continue to self-isolate until you feel better.

You do not need to self-isolate if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell/taste after 7 days, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

Further guidance on when you should end your self-isolation period is available on the gov.uk website

Ways to make staying at home more manageable

While staying at home it can be helpful to:

  • use delivery services, if possible, to deliver things like food shopping and medicines
  • order repeat prescriptions by phone or online and ask your pharmacy about getting your medication delivered
  • think of other ways to keep in contact with people
  • develop a daily routine -get up at the same time as normal and plan how you will spend your day – cooking, reading, tidying, watching TV
  • listen to the radio or an audio book if your home feels too quiet
  • get as much fresh air as possible

If possible try and build some physical activity into your daily routine such as cleaning or just getting up and walking about the house.

Looking after your mental wellbeing

You may find that social distancing and staying at home can be boring, frustrating or lonely and that your mood and feelings are affected.

You may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being with other people.

There is advice and guidance if about how to look after your mental wellbeing:

NHS 111 service

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, contact NHS 111 online(external link opens in a new window / tab).

If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

    A remote interpreting service for British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL) users in Northern Ireland has been introduced to provide access to NHS 111 and Health and Social Care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available on the Health Services page.

    More useful links

    Share this page

    What do you want to do?
    What is your question about?
    Do you want a reply?
    Your email address
    To reply to you, we need your email address
    Your feedback

    We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

    This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

    You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

    If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

    You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

    The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

    Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

    Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
    Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

    What to do next

    Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

    What to do next

    If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

    Carer's Allowance

    Call 0800 587 0912
    Email 
    dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

    Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

    Call 0800 587 2750 
    Email 
    customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

    Disability Living Allowance

    Call 0800 587 0912 
    Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

    Employment and Support Allowance

    Call 0800 587 1377

    Jobseeker’s Allowance

    Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

    Personal Independence Payment

    Call 0800 587 0932

    If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

    What to do next

    Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

    What to do next

    Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

    What to do next

    For queries about:

    If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

    What to do next

    If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

    If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

    What to do next

    For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.