The person with symptoms MUST self-isolate for 7 days if they live alone. They can return to work and their usual activities on the 8th day if they feel better and no longer have a high temperature. A cough may persist for several weeks in some people, even though the coronavirus infection has cleared. You don’t need to continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days if you have a persistent cough with no other symptoms.
If you live with others, then all the OTHER household members must self-isolate for 14 days. People they have been in close contact with (such as those living in the same household) may pick up the virus but not show any symptoms for up to 14 days. This is based on the evidence that the symptomatic person is likely not to be infectious after 7 days from onset of symptoms and that if a household member becomes infected it could be a number of days, but up to another 7 days to show symptoms (average 5 days). So entire households are asked to isolate for 14 days so that they are sure they are not going to get ill and pass the illness on to others in the community.
If one of the other household members then develops symptoms during the 14-day period, they must self-isolate for 7 days from the day THEY THEMSELVES develop symptoms, even if that takes them beyond the original 14-day isolation period.
You can spread the infection in the days BEFORE you have symptoms, evidence suggested for 1-2 days before onset of symptoms.
You can manage your symptoms with normal over-the-counter products such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if these are suitable for you. No-one from your household should visit the pharmacy though. Please ask someone else, from a household with no symptoms to collect them for you. We now have a click and collect service to help you with this.