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New guidance on importance of self-isolation

Self-isolating at home

New government guidance is available, which explains the importance of self-isolation and how it is necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the community.

Anyone who has or might have coronavirus must self-isolate immediately. This includes those with coronavirus symptoms, who have tested positive for COVID-19, or have come into contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive.

It is very important that anyone who has the virus, or might have been exposed to it, avoids all social interaction for 10 days, as this will help stop the spread of coronavirus. By self-isolating when required, you are helping to protect others around you, reducing transmission and saving lives.

You must only leave your house to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms, but you must go straight there and back - it is best to walk or drive yourself there if you can. You are legally required to self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace and could be fined if you don’t.

The government’s updated ‘Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, says that even people who have received one or both of their vaccine doses, must self-isolate.

It states that ‘while COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness for those who have received them, we do not yet know for certain by how much they reduce the likelihood of a vaccinated person spreading COVID-19 to others.’

The new government guidance follows recent figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that shows there are some people who aren’t properly self-isolating when required to do so. Between 1 to 13 February 2021, approximately 3 in 20 adults (14 %) in England did at least one activity during self-isolation that was not adherent to the requirements, such as leaving the home for a reason not permitted under legislation.

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

“To keep on track with the easing of coronavirus restrictions and the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, people must self-isolate immediately when required to do so. This will help to prevent the virus from spreading and keep case rates down. We know that self-isolating is hard, but it is very important you comply with the rules to prevent others from getting ill, especially the ones you love.

“We understand there’s still some confusion about what you can and can’t do when you are self-isolating. To address this, we have produced a new self-isolation page for residents. This contains information about why, how, and when to self-isolate. It also includes tips about how to be prepared should you need to self-isolate at short notice, for example, when you’ve been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.

“It’s important to ensure you have support lined up should you need it. This could be from a friend or family member local to you, or there is support from organisations such as the Bracknell Forest Community Response. Have you considered who will help take over care duties, or look after your pets? It’s also a good idea to be well stocked up on food and other essential supplies. Our new page also contains guidance on getting help with finances, and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.

“We hope our residents find this information useful. Thank you to everyone who continues to follow the rules to protect our borough. To those who are tempted to ignore the rules, please remember there may be severe consequences if you don’t self-isolate when you’re meant to. You could end up causing harm to your loved ones, and you could land yourself a large fine as you’d be breaking the law.”