- Many people around the world are being told to stay at home and self-isolate because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- In some countries, only people with symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, have been told to stay at home.
- In other countries, wider quarantines have been introduced.
- Here’s what you should do if you’ve been told to stay at home because of the coronavirus outbreak.
- 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 COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, or if they are believed to be at risk of contracting it.
In the UK, British people have been told to stay at home for at least seven days if they show symptoms of COVID-19.
In other countries, including Italy, even people without symptoms have been told to stay at home.
Here’s what you should do if you’ve been advised to self-isolate because of the coronavirus outbreak.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the World Health Organisation, the most common symptoms are:
- A cough
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
In more severe cases, symptoms can include:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Kidney failure
What does self-isolating mean?
In the simplest terms, self-isolating means staying at home.
According to the UK government’s guidance, there are certain rules you should observe while quarantined in your home.
You should stay at home for at least 7 days
The guidance says that if you have symptoms, “however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.”
And staying at home means exactly that. Don’t leave your home for any reason except 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
Don’t leave your house even to get essential supplies.
If possible, buy groceries and medications online.
If that’s not possible, ask friends, relatives, or your employer for help.
But don’t come into contact with the delivery person
You should leave instructions to leave the items outside in a safe area for you to collect. Don’t let the delivery person inside your home.
Stay at least 2 meters (about 6 feet) away from others in your home
Try to limit contact with other people in your home, especially if you live with older people or people with long-term health conditions.
If possible, don’t share a bed with another person to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection.
Regularly wash your hands
The infection can be transmitted through touching surfaces in your home.
To help prevent infecting the people you live with, regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
What to do if your condition does not improve
You do not need to call a doctor to enter self-isolation.
However, if your symptoms worsen or you are no better after seven days, seek medical advice.
In the UK, your first step should be to contact NHS 111 online or call 111 if you have no internet connection.
For a medical emergency, dial the emergency number for your country – it’s 999 in the UK and 911 in the US.