Coronavirus: 1 in 5 Britons ‘not self-isolating’ – what symptoms require you to do so?

Coronavirus: 1 in 5 Britons ‘not self-isolating’ – what symptoms require you to do so?


Coronavirus is rampant. Around 73,758 Britons have tested positive for the virus. But one in five who display symptoms aren’t ‘fully self-isolating’.

In a shocking report, 12 percent of Britons aren’t following government guidelines.

The YouGov poll asked 1,650 individuals if they had experienced common symptoms of COVID-19 in the past seven days.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever – described as ‘hot to the touch’ on the chest or back by the NHS – a dry cough, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath.


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The results revealed one in five Britons weren’t full self-isolating while presenting symptoms of the contagious disease.

NHS advice strongly recommends anybody showing signs of a fever, or a new continuous cough to self-isolate for seven days.

A new, continuous cough means “coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours”.

And self-isolation requires people to stay at home and not to leave for any reason.

This includes not going out for daily exercise, food shopping or helping the vulnerable in society.

Self-isolation must be enacted from the instance symptoms of COVID-19 appear.

Although the NHS states this is the only option when you have a fever or new, continuous cough, it’s not clear whether or not this applied to all symptoms.

And there are a few to report, according to a different organisation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), for example, lists three “common” symptoms of COVID-19. These include:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Dry cough

And the WHO detail other symptoms of the virus, which are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose

The official advice from WHO is to self-isolate if any of these symptoms of COVID-19 appear.

Back to NHS guidelines, people must self-isolate for seven days, and are only allowed to resume leaving their home if they no longer have a fever after seven days have been complete.


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If anybody still has a fever after seven days of infection, then self-isolation is still required until the fever subsides and returns to normal.

For those living with anybody who has symptoms of COVID-19, you must immediately self-isolate for 14 days.

This is because the incubation period for the virus to develop symptoms can take up to 14 days, and this measure helps to ensure the household isn’t spreading the disease.

Additionally, some people are asymptotic, meaning they show no signs of infection but actually are carrying the disease and can pass it on to others.

This is why any daily exercise, or shopping, requires people to stay at least two metres away from others outside of their household when not displaying symptoms of the disease.

The virus is believed by British government to be too heavy to stay in the air for too long and drops to the ground after one metre – although, there is a dispute in the scientific community whether the virus is airborne or not.

If mounting scientific evidence points towards the virus being air-borne, it suggests the virus is even more contagious than already thought.

And this could impact future measures on shopping and exercise.

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