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

If you have Covid, you can pass on the virus to other people for up to 10 days from when your infection starts
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Covid restrictions have been lifted across the UK, but what are the rules on self-isolation and going for a walk if you have Covid-19?

Here’s what you need to know.

When do I need to self-isolate?

According to the NHS, you should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you:

  • have any symptoms of Covid and have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities
  • have tested positive for Covid - this means it’s very likely you have the virus

If you do have Covid, you can pass on the virus to other people for up to 10 days from when your infection starts. Many people will no longer be infectious to others after five days.

You should:

  • try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days
  • avoiding meeting people at higher risk from Covid for 10 days, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from Covid, even if they’ve had a Covid vaccine

This starts from the day after you did the test.

If a child or young person aged 18 or under tests positive for Covid then they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for three days. This starts from the day after they did the test.

Children and young people tend to be infectious to others for less time than adults and if they’re well and do not have a temperature after three days, there’s a much lower risk that they’ll pass on Covid to others.

If you are feeling unwell and do not test positive or test negative for Covid you should:

  • try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people
  • avoid meeting people at higher risk from Covid, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from Covid, even if they’ve had a coronavirus vaccine

You can go back to your normal activities if you:

  • feel well enough to do so
  • do not have a high temperature

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

To try to avoid passing Covid onto others, the NHS advice is to try to stay at home if you can, avoid contact with people at higher risk from Covid for 10 days, let people who need to come into your home know that you’ve tested positive or have symptoms and ask friends, family or neighbours to get food or other essentials for you.

If you need to leave your home in the five days after your positive test result or while you’re feeling unwell, the NHS advises certain steps you can take steps to avoid spreading Covid, including:

  • wearing a face covering that fits snugly against your face and has more than one layer
  • avoid contact with people at higher risk from COVID-19, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, even if they’ve had a Covid jab
  • avoid indoor or crowded places (including public transport or large social gatherings) or where there is not much fresh air
  • do any exercise outdoors and where you will not be in close contact with other people
  • avoid touching your face
  • cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
  • wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser, after you cough, sneeze or blow your nose, and before you eat and handle food

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