Who needs to self-isolate
There are different groups of people who need to isolate to contain the spread of coronavirus (COIVID-19):
- if you have symptoms or someone in your household has symptoms
- if you've recently travelled to Jersey
- if you've been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case
Anyone who is showing
symptoms of the coronavirus, which include most commonly a new persistent cough and /or fever should go into immediate isolation within their home, along with anyone else that they may live with, even if others are not currently showing symptoms themselves.
Household isolation is different to the 'Stay at Home' order because it is vital that infectious households do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis, even if you think this is essential.
Staying in isolation whilst your household may have the virus is essential to help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community and the most vulnerable.
If you live alone
If you live alone and develop symptoms of coronavirus, you should isolate for a minimum of 7 days after the symptoms first appear or until your symptoms have gone or reduced significantly, whichever is the longest.
If you live as part of a household
If you live as part of a household or someone you live with
experiences symptoms of coronavirus, the entire household should isolate as follows:
- the person who is first unwell must isolate for a minimum of 7 days, or until symptoms have gone or reduced significantly, whichever is the longest
- all other members the household must isolate for a minimum of 14 days or, for 7 days after symptoms appear and until they are symptom free (if they too begin to show symptoms themselves).
If a household member develops coronavirus symptoms late in the 14-day household-isolation period (for example, on day 13 or day 14) the isolation period doesn't need to be extended, but the person with the new symptoms has to stay at home for a minimum of 7 days from the onset of their symptoms. People who remain well after 14 days are unlikely to be infectious.
Everyone must continue to practice strict social distancing, even after their isolation period has ended.
Coronavirus household isolation diagram
What does it mean if you and your household need to isolate?
It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or may already be infected. Staying at home for a minimum of 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
You and all household members should remain at home because you're likely to be infectious. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis. If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a 2 meter distance from others.
Other important principles to follow:
if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as those of 65 years old and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
contact the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to let them know your household is isolating
- if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible – if you have enough room for the vulnerable person to self-isolate, then they should do so
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then contact your GP for advice – make sure you do not visit without calling ahead first. In the case of a medical emergency, dial 999.
If you have recently travelled
If you arrived in Jersey from 00:01 on Sunday 22 March
All travellers, including health and care workers, but excluding essential workers in other sectors, must now self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. This includes the UK, Guernsey, Europe and the rest of the world and applies whether or not travellers are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
If you arrived in Jersey from 00:01 on Friday 20 March
All travellers, except essential workers, must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. This includes the UK, Guernsey, Europe and the rest of the world and applies whether or not travellers are displaying coronavirus symptoms.
Essential workers returning to Jersey must consult the latest guidance as to whether they are required to self-isolate for 14 days or whether they can return to work.
If you have or develop symptoms
If returning travellers have or develop
symptoms of coronavirus, their whole household must self-isolate in accordance with the household isolation guidance.
Contact with a positive COVID-19 case
Call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566. You may need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The helpline will advise if your whole household will be required to isolate.
Claiming sickness benefit if you're self-isolating due to coronavirus
You can claim sickness benefit if you need to self-isolate and can't work in relation to the latest Government advice on coronavirus.
Sickness benefit if you're self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Preparing to self or household isolate
The best thing you can do now is plan for how you can adapt your daily routine, and that of others in your household, should you be advised to stay at home. Some of the ways in which you could prepare include:
- talk to your neighbours and family and exchange phone numbers of household contacts
- consider and plan for those in your home who are considered vulnerable
create a contact list with phone numbers of neighbours, schools, employer, chemist, and Government of Jersey Helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566
- think about what you will need in order to be able to stay at home for the duration advised, including any necessary medical supplies
- talk to your employer, friends and family to ask for their help to access the things you will need to make your stay at home a success
- set up online shopping accounts if possible
- think about things you can do during your time at home
What to do whilst you are staying at home
Help with buying groceries or medication
If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping, walking a dog or picking up medication, you will need to ask friends or relatives. Some local retailers and businesses are also offering home delivery services. If you do not have this support available and urgently need food or medicine, call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566.
Community support and volunteering: Connect Me
If you are living with children
Keep following this advice to the best of your ability, however, we are aware that not all these measures will be possible.
What we have seen so far is that children with coronavirus appear to be less severely affected. It is nevertheless important to do your best to follow this guidance.
If you have a vulnerable person living with you
Vulnerable and severely vulnerable people should already be following the
published advice to self-isolate. You should minimise as much as possible the time any vulnerable family members spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas, and keep shared spaces well ventilated.
Aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from vulnerable people you live with and encourage them to sleep in a different bed where possible. If they can, they should use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. Make sure they use separate towels from the other people in your house, both for drying themselves after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes.
If you do share a toilet and bathroom with a vulnerable person, it is important that you clean them every time you use them (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with). Another tip is to consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with the vulnerable person using the facilities first.
If you share a kitchen with a vulnerable person, avoid using it while they are present. If they can, they should take their meals back to their room to eat. If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry the family’s used crockery and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly. If the vulnerable person is using their own utensils, remember to use a separate tea towel for drying these.
We understand that it will be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others at home. You should do your very best to follow this guidance and everyone in your household should regularly wash their hands, avoid touching their face, and clean frequently touched surfaces.
If you are breastfeeding while infected
There is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk. Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The current evidence is that children with coronavirus get much less severe symptoms than adults. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast milk or by being in close contact; however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone.
If you or a family member are feeding with formula or expressed milk, you should sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.
Cleaning and disposal of waste
When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and table tops. This is particularly important if you have an older or vulnerable person in the house.
For the duration of the time that someone in the household is in isolation all waste, but particularly personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths, should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept securely. This should, ideally, be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.
To minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.
Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All dirty laundry can be washed in the same load.
If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after your 7-day (for individual isolation) or 14-day isolation period (for households) has ended when you can then take the laundry to a public launderette.
If you have pets in the household
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs and cats can be infected with coronavirus.
What you can do to help yourself get better
Drink water to keep yourself hydrated; you should drink enough during the day so your urine (pee) is a pale clear colour. You can use over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol, to help with some of your symptoms. Use these according to the instructions on the packet or label and do not exceed the recommended dose.
Wash your hands often
Clean your hands frequently each day by washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser. This will help protect you and the people you live with. This step is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of passing infection to others.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have one to hand, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
If you have a carer, they should use disposable tissues to wipe away any mucus or phlegm after you have sneezed or coughed. Then they should wash their hands with soap and water.
Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.
If you or your family need to seek medical advice
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness in any household members is worsening. If it’s not an emergency, contact your GP or the Government of Jersey helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566.
If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the operator that you or your relative has coronavirus symptoms.
All routine medical and dental appointments should usually be cancelled whilst you and the family are staying at home. If you are concerned or have been asked to attend in person within the period you are home isolating, discuss this with your medical contact first, using the number they have provided.
Visitors in your home
Do not invite or allow social visitors, such as other friends and family, to enter your home. If you want to speak to someone who is not a member of your household, use the phone or social media.
If you or a family member receive essential care in your home, then carers should continue to visit. Carers will be provided with facemasks and gloves to reduce the risk of you passing on the infection.
Looking after your wellbeing while staying at home
We know that staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you or other household members may feel low. It can be particularly challenging if you don’t have much space or access to a garden.
It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. There are also
sources of support and information that can help.
Many people find it helpful to remind themselves why what they are doing is so important. Hopefully, none of your family will suffer more than flu-like symptoms. But some people are badly affected by coronavirus, and particularly the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. By staying home, you are protecting the lives of others, as well as making sure our health services do not get overwhelmed.