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Guide to self-isolating during COVID-19

A day-by-day support guide for self-isolating.

Day one

You have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been told to self-isolate. It’s important you stay home (self-isolate) for ten days to help stop the spread of the virus. Everyone else in your household or support bubble will need to self-isolate for ten days too.

Please don’t:

  • go to work, school or public places
  • use public transport or taxis
  • go out to get food or medicines
  • have visitors inside your home - except those providing essential care
  • go out to exercise - exercise at home or in your garden instead.

Do you have children or other relatives to look after? If your care commitments make it difficult to self-isolate and there’s nobody else you can call on, we might be able to help. Email incident@lewisham.gov.uk or call our helpline on 020 8314 3535.

Day two

Keep your colleagues and workplace safe. Let your employer know about your positive test result. If you feel up to it and your job allows, you can work from home. If not, ask about sick pay.

You can claim Statutory Sick Pay for the time you’ve had to self-isolate. Find out more about Statutory Sick Pay and COVID-19 on the Government's website.

If you are employed or self-employed and will lose income as a result of self-isolation, you might be entitled to a £500 support grant. Find out more about the self-isolation support grant.

If you’re worried about money, call our Advice Lewisham team on 0800 231 5453 (weekdays).

Day three

You should have heard from NHS Test and Trace by now. Our test and trace team is contacting those in self-isolation. Please help them identify people you have been in contact with to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within our community.

Day four

Do you have a prescription to collect? Or a dog to walk? Perhaps you’re running out of essentials? Ask a family member, friend or neighbour for help. Check whether your local pharmacy offers home deliveries, many do. If there’s nobody else you can rely on, call our helpline on 020 8314 3535.

Day five

You’re halfway through. We know it’s tough. That’s why it’s extra important you take care of your mental wellbeing. Talking helps. Phone a friend or a loved one for a chat. If you’d like a call from one of our friendly volunteers, please get in touch. Visit the NHS website for tips on how to look after yourself.

Day six

Try and get some fresh air and sunshine. It can be tricky without access to a private garden. But open a window or find a sunny spot in your home. And taking a Vitamin D supplement will boost your immune system while you’re indoors.

Day seven

If you feel well enough, getting some exercise will do you good. Your options are limited indoors, but many leisure centres and fitness trainers are offering free classes online. You can find some suggestions on how to get moving indoors on the NHS website.

Day eight

Many people find weekends the most challenging time to stay at home. Remember you’ll only have to endure one or two in self-isolation before you can go back to your usual routine.

Day nine

You’re probably starting to feel better by now. Don’t be tempted to go out just yet though. It is likely you are still infectious and could risk passing COVID-19 onto others.

Day ten

Only one day until you can leave the house. Where will you go first? A trip to the shops? Buying treats might cheer you up, and the rest of your household, up after 10 days self-isolating.

You’re done!

Good job! You’ve helped stop the spread of the virus. Go out and enjoy your freedom – wear your face covering, wash your hands regularly and keep a safe distance from others.

Become a COVID-19 community champion

With your strength and commitment, you’d make a great COVID-19 Community Champion. If you think you can help reach our diverse community, we’d like to hear from you

Find out more about what the COVID-19 Community Champion role involves.