Isolation Guidance  | Merton Council Newsroom

If you or someone close to you has tested positive for COVID-19 it’s important to know the correct action to take.  

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you usually have to self-isolate for 10 full days. You may be able to leave self-isolation after five full days if certain conditions are met.  Your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. If you get symptoms while you’re self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from the day after your symptoms started. 

 You can do a rapid lateral flow test from day 5 of your self-isolation period (but not before) and another test the next day. You can stop self-isolating if: 

  • both tests are negative 
  • you do not have a high temperature 

Report your test result after each test. 

You should stop testing after you’ve had 2 negative test results in a row. 

If you stop self-isolating after 5 full days, it’s important that you take steps to reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 to others

If you live with or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 

If you live with or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, you may need to self-isolate for 10 days, such as if you are not fully vaccinated.  

You do not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply: 

  • you’re fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine 
  • you’re under 18 years old 
  • you’re taking part or have taken part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial 
  • you’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons 

If you do not meet any of the above criteria, you must self-isolate for 10 days. You are encouraged to get a PCR test, and if it is negative, you must continue to self-isolate for the full 10 days. You can NOT reduce your self-isolation time to five days as a close-contact and with a COVID-negative test if you are not fully vaccinated or meet any of the criteria above.  

 If you test positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days, counting from the day after your symptoms started, or the day after your PCR test if you did not have symptoms 

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