Coronavirus: How to self-isolate

34

The UK is deploying a ‘self-isolation’ strategy to tackle the disease

France and Spain joined Italy in imposing lockdowns on tens of millions of people, Australia ordered self-isolation of arriving foreigners, and Argentina and El Salvadore extended entry bans as the world sought to contain the spreading coronavirus.

Several countries imposed bans on mass gathering, shuttered sporting, cultural and religious events, while medical experts urged people to practice “social distancing” to curb the spread.

It seems that the window of opportunity to contain coronavirus is getting smaller. 

The UK is deploying a “self-isolation” strategy to tackle the disease. According to Public Health England, “self-isolation…is the most effective way of preventing the coronavirus from spreading.” 

So, what do you need to know about self-isolation and how to do it?

Stay at home

This may sound obvious, but don’t leave home except to get medical care. Say no to visitors. Contact friends and family online or by phone.

Separate yourself from others

Stay in one room, with the door closed – ideally a room that has a window to the outside that you can open. Don’t share crockery, cutlery, glasses, bedding or towels with anyone in your home when you have used them. 

Dishwashers can be used to clean crockery and cutlery. If that isn’t possible, wash by hand and dry using a separate tea towel. Laundry, bedding and towels should be placed in a plastic bag and washed only when tests for Covid-19 are negative or self-isolation is over, if possible. 

Food and bathrooms

Have meals left outside your door. If you cook for yourself, do so, if possible, when others are not in the kitchen – and take food back to your room to eat. 

If you have more than one bathroom in your home, use a separate one. If you have to share, ensure you clean it thoroughly and regularly. 

If you live in shared accommodation, leave your room only when necessary, ideally wearing a mask, if you have one. Try to avoid using the kitchen or bathroom while others are there.

Keep away from pets

Wash your hands before and after contact as a precautionary measure.

Safely dispose of tissues 

Dispose of them into a plastic bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. If you have one, wear a mask when you are in the same room as others, or if you go out for medical treatment.

Hand washing

The rules are similar to those for all people – wash your hands often and thoroughly, using soap and water, for 20 seconds Then rinse and dry thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Waste disposal

All waste that you have been in contact with, including used tissues and masks, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. Do not dispose of it or put it out for collection until you have test results, or until quarantine is over. If you test positive, you will get instructions on how to dispose of the waste.