There are a lot of different terms being used in the coronavirus outbreak and we understand that it can be confusing with so much information to digest.

We’ve clarified what all the key terms mean to you below:

  • Social distancing applies only to people with no symptoms of COVID-19 and seeks to reduce the risk of infection from airborne droplets.

Practically, this means maintaining a distance of greater than six feet between people and avoiding non-essential travel, social gatherings etc. Everyone should be practicing this, irrespective of age and underlying health.

  • Self-isolation applies to people with symptoms of coronavirus.

If you develop symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection, however mild (especially a high temperature OR a new, continuous cough), you should follow the guidance laid down by NHS England which is to self-isolate for seven days from the onset of symptoms.

You do NOT need to call NHS 111 to report self-isolation.

If you live with others, and you, or someone you live with, develop symptoms, then all household members should stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day the first person became ill.

For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to remain at home for seven days from when symptoms appeared, regardless of what day of the initial 14 day isolation period they are on.

Further information

Updated information from the government can be found at GOV.UK.

Dr Simon Gillson – Medical Director
Dr Karl Braine – Medical Director