What to do if you are told to stay at home and self-isolate because of the coronavirus

  • Many people around the world are being told to stay at home and self-isolate under quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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  • In some countries, only those with symptoms are being told to stay at home.
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  • In other countries, wider quarantines are being introduced.
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  • Here's what you should do if you have been told to stay at home because of the coronavirus.
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  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Around the world, many people are being told to stay at home and self-isolate if they have any symptoms of the coronavirus, or if they are believed to be at particular risk from contracting it.

Gino Verani, 87, eats biscuits at home in San Fiorano, one of the towns on lockdown in northern Italy due to a coronavirus outbreak

In the UK, British people have been told to stay at home for at least 7 days if they show symptoms of the COVID-19 disease.

In some other countries, including Italy, even those without symptoms have been told to stay at home.

Here's what you should do if you have been advised to self-isolate because of the coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organisation, the most common symptoms of the coronavirus are

However, in more severe cases, symptoms can include:

Here's how the symptoms differ from the common cold, flu and allergies.

What does self-isolating mean?

Ted S. Warren / AP

In the simplest terms, self-isolating means staying at home. However, according to UK government guidance, there are certain rules you should observe while quarantined in your home.

You should stay at home for at least 7 days

Courtesy of Charlie Perry

According to the guidance: "If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started."

And staying at home means exactly that. You should not leave your home for any reason, beyond an emergency.

You should not go to work, school, or public areas. You should not use public transport or taxis. You should not go for a walk.

Shop online for supplies if you can


You should not leave your house, even to get essential supplies. If possible you should use online shopping to buy groceries and medication. However, if that is not possible you should ask friends or relatives, or your employer for help.

But don't come into contact with the delivery person


You should leave instructions, if possible, with the company delivering your items to either leave them outside in a safe area for collection. You should not allow them inside your home

Stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others in your home

Pascal Maramis/Flickr

You should also attempt to eliminate contact with other people in your home. This is particularly the case if you live with older people or those with long-term health conditions.

Sleep alone

via Van Winkle's

If possible you should not share a bed with another person to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection.

Regularly wash your hands

Yu Han/Business Insider

The infection can be transmitted onto surfaces within your home. To prevent infecting the people you live with, you should regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

What to do if your condition does not improve

Peter Summers/Getty Images

You do not need to call the doctor to enter self-isolation.

However, if your symptoms worsen or you are no better after 7 days then you should seek out medical advice. In the UK your first step should be contact NHS 111 online, or call 111 if you have no internet connection.

For a medical emergency you should dial 999 in the UK, 911 in the US, or use one of the other emergency numbers listed for your country here.

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