The following self-isolation guidelines were issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday.
Separate yourself from others:
You should remain in your room, home or designated place of isolation. Do not go to work, or public places, including shops; If you require help with buying groceries, other essential items or picking up medication, inform a family member or friend or supervisor/employer. Make sure they leave the items outside your door after informing you of the delivery. The delivery person should not come into your room or designated place of isolation; You may go outside into your garden or private outdoor space if you have one. Refrain from socialising with others. If someone is in the garden with you, put on a mask and keep more than two metres away and limit your time outside; Do not invite or allow social visitors such as friends and family to enter your room or home; If you want to speak to someone who is not a member of your household, use the phone or social media.
Stay in your room:
Aim to stay in a well-ventilated room with windows which can be opened periodically; You should ideally stay in your own room and separate yourself from other people in your home or designated place of isolation and keep the door closed at all times; Make sure you regularly clean your hands and not touch your face. Clean surfaces in your room regularly; Use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household; Use your own toothbrushes, eating and drinking utensils (including cups and glasses in the bathroom and bedroom), dishes, towels or bed linen.
Eat separately in your room and do not share food and drinks; Meals should be delivered and left outside your door. Meals should be packed in disposable containers; Use your own plates, cups, glasses and cutlery and keep in the room with you. These can be washed and re-used. Alternatively, use disposable eating utensils and cutlery; If there are no separate washing facilities in the room, handle any non-disposable used food utensils with gloves and wash with hot water.
Use of shared spaces:
Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens as much as possible and keep well ventilated; Aim to keep two metres (three steps) away from people you stay with; Make sure you use separate towels, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes; If you do share toilet and bathroom, it is important that you clean them after you have used them every time, for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with; Consider you using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bath, sink and toilet yourself; If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it while others are present; Use your own eating and drinking utensils (including cups, glasses and cutlery); Everyone in your household should regularly wash their hands, avoid touching their face and clean frequently touched surfaces.
Cleaning and disposal of waste:
Use your usual household products, such as detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces; Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces; All waste that you have been in contact with including masks, tissues and other disposable materials should be put in a rubbish bag and tied when full; Rubbish bags should then be placed into a second bag, tied securely and put outside the room in which you are self-isolating, to be removed later by a family member, friend or supervisor. This can be disposed of in the usual manner together with other household waste; Use gloves when removing rubbish bag, handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands with soap and water afterwards.
Do not shake dirty laundry. This minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air; For those doing the laundry, wear disposable gloves; Dirty laundry that has been in contact with the person under isolation can be washed separately; Wash laundry using the usual household detergent and according to the manufacturer’s instructions; Bedding and towels should be placed in a plastic bag, tied and washed only after the isolation period is over or COVID-19 test is negative; If you do not have a washing machine, wait after your isolation period has ended before taking your laundry to a laundrette; Clean and disinfect clothes hampers with the usual household cleaners or disinfectants or dispose of plastic bags which were used to contain laundry; Wash hands with soap and water after removing off the gloves.
Clean your hands frequently throughout the day by washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser will help protect you and the people you stay with; Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze; Put tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.
Look after your well-being:
Take care of your mind as well as your body and do get support if and when you need it. If you need to speak to someone about your mental health, call Hope Line 145 between 8am – 11pm; Stay in touch with family and friends through calls and social media; If you feel well enough you can do light exercises within your room or home.
If you need to seek medical attention:
Seek prompt medical attention if you develop fever or any respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat or difficulty breathing. If it is not an emergency, contact the Health Advice Line at 148.
Ending your self-isolation:
You should remain at home until the end of your isolation period. The date for this is indicated in your Self-Isolation Notice given to you in the beginning; If you have any questions about this or need a clearance letter, call the Health Advice Line at 148.