What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms or advised to self-isolate


You should self-isolate immediately following either a positive lateral flow (LFT) or PCR test regardless of your vaccine status or previous Covid history. If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate as soon as possible, even if you have had a negative lateral flow test.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The main symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

In addition, the Delta or Omicron variants of Covid-19 (currently the most common) may bring on symptoms such as:

  • a headache
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • sneezing

In young people, Covid infection can get mistaken for a cold or even hay fever.

Do I have to self-isolate if I'm a housemate of someone with Covid-19?

Close contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 no longer have a legal duty to self-isolate, regardless of their vaccine status.

However, all close contacts should follow the NHS advice on how to avoid catching and spreading Covid-19.

Help protect others

If you are identified as a contact of someone with Covid-19, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. You may also consider:

  • limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
  • wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you are unable to maintain social distancing
  • limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable

If you're on campus when you develop symptoms or test positive

  • If you live on campus, are within walking distance of where you live or have access to your own transport, return to your room/home. Before leaving the campus, use the nearest hand sanitiser and wear a face covering. 
  • If you live off campus and are unable to get home without using public transport, please follow the online guidance on how to travel safely to keep yourself, other passengers and public transport staff safe.

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