It's a trying time for all of us, and there’s a lot of information being thrown out there through the social channels. Let's cut through that white noise and take a proper look at what each of these concepts mean and when you should be abiding by each.
Completing a period of quarantine is necessary for anyone who believes there is a chance they have come in contact with the COVID-19 virus. It is a requirement for such individuals to remain in quarantine for 14 days from the potential exposure. A room will need to be allocated to separate you from family members or roommates — this includes using a different bathroom and serving ware (glasses, utensils, plates, etc.).
Someone who is home quarantined will need to monitor their temperature morning and night and contact the National Health Service should they experience any symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches and pains or other flu-like symptoms.
Self-isolation is mandatory when you are presenting symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who does. When self-isolating, you must not leave your home for any reason including for food or medicine. These will need to be ordered online or you will need to ask someone to drop them to you. Any form of exercise will also need to be done within the home.
Seven days of isolation is required if you have any coronavirus symptoms. If, after this time, you do not have a high temperature, you no longer need to self-isolate. If you do still have a temperature, self-isolation is required until this returns to normal.
If you are living with someone who is presenting symptoms, you’ll need to isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms began as this is how long they can take to appear. If you never incur any symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.
The guidelines for social distancing are set out to reduce the spread of the infection. They are mandatory for all citizens and will help us protect our community, support the NHS and ultimately, save lives. Social distancing will reduce our day-to-day contact with others. Guidelines include:
- staying at home, except for very limited purposes
- no gatherings of more than 2 people in public
- staying at least two meters apart from anyone who does not live in your household
It is acceptable to leave the home to enjoy one piece of exercise per day and to collect food and medicines — although if these can be delivered, they should and we need to try and keep these trips as infrequent as possible.
The Potential Impact of a Non-Respect of Those Actions
Local authorities have been given permission to issue fines if the above guidelines are not complied with. We need to remember that the government is not enforcing such restrictions to reprimand us; rather, the exact opposite. To flout the advice of our governing bodies is to put the high-risk members of our community in harm's way. We need to remain positive, do our part to flatten the curve and remember that these restrictions will relax in time.
Please do what you can to help combat this invisible force. Only leave your home when absolutely necessary, stay two meters away from others when you do have to go out and don’t forget to add hand sanitiser to your next online grocery order!