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Can I go for a walk if I have Covid? Rules on going outside if you have tested positive explained

You need to self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test if you have Covid symptoms

Covid cases are continuing to rise in the UK, with many people now self-isolating at home.

But what are the rules on going for a walk if you have Covid-19?

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Here’s what you need to know.

When do I need to self-isolate?

You need to self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of these 3 symptoms of Covid-19, even if they are mild:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You should also self-isolate straight away if:

  • you’ve tested positive for Covid
  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive (unless you are not required to self-isolate)
  • you’ve been told to self-isolate following contact with someone who tested positive 

You can find out what to do if you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app on the NHS website.

Can I go for a walk if I’m self-isolating?

According to the NHS, you must not leave your home if you’re self-isolating.

You should not:

  • go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • go on public transport or use taxis
  • go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

How long do I have to self-isolate for?

You can return to your normal routine and stop self-isolating after 10 full days if your symptoms have gone, or if the only symptoms you have are a cough or anosmia, which can last for several weeks.

However, if you still have a high temperature after 10 days or are otherwise unwell, you should stay at home and seek medical advice.

You may be able to end your self-isolation period before the end of the 10 full days.

You can take an lateral flow test from six days after the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you did not have symptoms), and another lateral flow test on the following day.

The second test should be taken at least 24 hours later. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, then you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result.

However, you should not take a lateral flow test before the sixth day of your isolation period, and you should only end your self-isolation after you have had two consecutive negative tests, which should be taken at least 24 hours apart.

You should also stop testing after you have had two consecutive negative test results, according to the Government website.