If you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate for 10 days from the date you took the test or the date your symptoms started, whichever is sooner. This day is day zero.
You may be able to end your self-isolation period from day six if:
- you have two consecutive negative lateral flow test results taken 24 hours apart, with the first of these taken no earlier than day five
- you do not have a high temperature
You should report your LFD test results(external link opens in a new window / tab) online or by calling 119 after taking each test.
If either your day five or six tests are positive you should not leave isolation.
You should continue to test daily and only leave isolation early (before you have completed 10 full days) after you have had two consecutive negative Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests taken at least 24 hours apart.
You should stop testing after you have had two consecutive negative test results.
If you still have a high temperature, you should continue to self-isolate until your temperature has returned to normal for 48 hours.
If you leave self-isolation on or after day six following two negative lateral flow results, you are strongly advised to:
- limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces
- minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19
If your lateral flow tests continue to be positive and you have completed 10 full days of isolation:
- you do not need to take any more LFD tests or a PCR test after the 10th day
- you may leave isolation the following day
This is because you are unlikely to be infectious after the 10th day of your self-isolation period.
If you are concerned, you may choose to limit close contact with other people, especially those who are at higher risk of severe illness until 14 days after the start of your self-isolation period.
Separate guidance applies to health and social care.
Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated should not end isolation early and should complete the full 10 days.