Public Health England (PHE) Guidance - Test & Trace

Guidance for Contacts of People with possible or confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection who do not live with the person

This guidance explains what you should do if the NHS Test and Trace service notifies you that you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and you do not live with that person.

Main Messages

  • If you have been informed that you are a contact of a person who has had a positive test result for Coronavirus (COVID-19), medical advice is clear: you must immediately self-isolate at home for 14 days from the date of your last contact with them.

  • Stay at home for 10 days and follow the self-isolation guidance. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.

  • You are at risk of developing COVID-19 for the next 10 days. Since we now know that people can become infectious up to 2 days before symptoms begin, you could spread the disease to others if you do not go into self-isolation.

  • Even if you never develop symptoms, you can still be infected and pass the virus on without knowing it.

  • You should not arrange for testing unless you develop symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The most important symptoms are: a new continuous cough, a high temperature, a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

  • If you do not have symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), other people in your household do not need to self-isolate at home with you.

  • Take steps to reduce the possible spread of infection in your home: for example, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser.

  • If anyone you live with is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable stay away from them as much as possible, following the guidance here. For the clinically extremely vulnerable, follow the shielding guidance.