Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have COVID-19. This helps stop the virus spreading to other people. Self-isolation is not the same as lockdown or social distancing.

You should self-isolate if:

  • you test positive for COVID -19
  • you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • you have had a test and are awaiting test results
  • someone you live with or someone in your support bubble has tested positive for COVID-19
  • you are a school student and you have been told to self-isolate by your school
  • you have been told by NHS Test & Trace to self-isolate
  • you are coming back from a country outside the Common Travel Area (Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man)

Self-isolation is a legal requirement. You could be fined if you do not self-isolate when required.

If you get symptoms of COVID-19 when you’re self-isolating, you must book a test immediately and start a new self-isolation period. If the test result is negative, you must complete your initial self-isolation period.

Plan ahead

You must not leave your home or garden if you have been asked to self-isolate. You should not do things like the shopping or walking the dog. You will not be given notice before being asked to self-isolate.
It’s good idea to plan for self-isolation.

  • Think about how you will get food, walk your dog, and pick up medicines. You can’t go out so you will need to get home deliveries.
  • Make a plan with friends and family so that you can support each other if you need to self-isolate.
  • If you don’t have support nearby, you can contact the Isle of Wight Coronavirus Helpline on 01983 823600 or search for support for islanders.
Financial support if you cannot work

If you are required to self-isolate you may be entitled to financial support during your self-isolation period.

Tell your employer if you cannot work while you’re self-isolating. They should tell you if you’re covered by their sick leave or special leave policy. If you cannot get sick pay from your employer, you might be able to get Statutory Sick Pay or another type of financial support.

If you’re on a low income and you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you may be able to get a Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP). The one-off payments of £500 are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

The TTSP is available to parents and guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate but need to take time off work to look after a child or young person who is self-isolating.

A separate discretionary payment is also available to eligible residents.

The Isle of Wight Council website has information about the different types of payment and how to apply for them.

Read about other support available for Islanders.

NHS Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace will contact you by text, email or phone call if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive.

You will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days.

The NHS COVID-19 app is part of the Test and Trace programme. It’s free to download and is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from COVID-19.


You could be fined if you do not self-isolate when:

  • you have a positive COVID-19 test result.
  • you are notified by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate.
  • you knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.
  • you are coming back from a country outside the Common Travel Area..

If you don’t self-isolate when required you could be fined up to £10,000.

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