What self-isolating for coronavirus actually involves and if you can go out

Many people have joked that they would be more than happy to self-isolate because of coronavirus if it means they get some time off work

But it's far from a joking matter, and the strict advice put in place by the Government is in a desperate bid to stop the deadly virus spreading and claiming the lives of more people.

The latest guidelines say people should self-isolate for seven days if they have a mild cough or temperature.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I must level with you and level with the British public. Many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”

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He described it as the "worst public health crisis for a generation".

Thousands of people are expected to start self-isolating, but many still don't fully understand what it actually involves.

The Government has issued guidelines for people self-isolation, which apply to both confirmed and suspected cases.

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The website states: "It is very important that you stay at home whilst you have coronavirus (COVID-19).

"This will help to protect your friends, colleagues and the wider community and will help control the spread of the virus.

"We realise that staying at home may be difficult or frustrating."

They have also issued some advice on how to make the period more comfortable.

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They have suggested that people plan ahead and make sure they have what they need to be able to stay at home for seven days without going outside.

While your friends can't visit you, they can help out by delivering food and other supplies to them – but they should leave them on your doorstep rather than coming inside.

Staying in contact with people in the outside world is important, so make an effort to communicate on social media or on the phone.

In a bid to avoid boredom, they suggest coming up with different things to do.

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The website states: "Think about things you can do during your time at home.

"People who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films."

Exercise is also important. While you can't go out, think about other things you can do. They suggest online fitness classes.

What else do I need to do?

You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened.

You must stay by yourself, try to avoid mixing with anyone else you live with. This normally involves staying in certain rooms of the house.

If you are living with somebody who is in self-quarantine, it's advised that you wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should also be done every time you come into contact with the person or touching something they have touched.

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If possible, the quarantined person should have their own bathroom which is not used by anyone else in the house.

If you don't have the facilities for this, they should always try to use the toilet last. The government's advice suggests setting up a bathroom rota for washing and bathing.

If sharing a bathroom, the isolated person should clean it themselves after every use.

Towels should not be shared, and they should also have their own separate dishes, glasses and cutlery.

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Plates and cutlery should be washed in a dishwasher if possible.

No visitors

Only people who live with you are allowed into the house. All communication should be done over the phone or through other means of technology.

If someone is dropping off supplies they should leave them outside.

Avoid pets

If you have animals in your home you should avoid them as much as possible.

If you can't, make sure you wash your hands before and after all contact.

Your rubbish should be double bagged and can't be thrown away. The bags should be kept until the quarantine is over.

If your results come back positive you will be given advice on what to do with the rubbish.

Wear a facemask if advised to do so

If you have been given a mask, wear it whenever you are in the same room with other people – including doctors and other medical staff.

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