Coronavirus: support for those self-isolating

Self-isolation support

Having to self-isolate can be a challenge. It means you cannot leave your home to do things like going to work, shopping or even to walk the dog.

It is important to remember you’re not alone. Support is available to help you get through this difficult time.

When to self-isolate

You must self-isolate immediately if any of these apply to you:

  • you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms and you’ve been in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started
  • someone in your support bubble tested positive and you’ve been in close contact with them since they had the test or in the 48 hours before their test
  • you've been told you've been in contact with someone who tested positive (find out what to do if you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app).

How to self-isolate

If you have to self-isolate you cannot go outside your home for any reason. This includes work, school, parks, shops, supermarkets or anywhere else beyond your front door or enclosed garden if you have one.

Scary as this might sound, this is now the law and failure to self-isolate for the necessary time-period can result in a fine of £1,000 or more.

The NHS provides a comprehensive guide to self-isolation. This includes information on how long you must remain in isolation and how to treat coronavirus.

Community support

Our helpline will quickly connect you to the right source of support.

This may involve shopping for you, collecting medicine and other day-to-day essentials. We can also offer assistance with more complex matters, such as financial hardship, disability issues or housing.

Please call our telephone line: 01865 249 811 or complete our online support form.

£500 Self-isolation payments

Test and Trace payments are for some people in low paid work who will lose income because they've been told to self-isolate. They are a way of topping up any benefits or Statutory Sick Pay a person receives during isolation. Sometimes, councils can make a one off discrepancy payment to people who don’t qualify.

However, Qualifying criteria are very strict for both payments and we urge everyone to phone the helpline for advice before applying.

Please call our helpline: 01865 249 811

Mental health and wellbeing

We know this is an unsettling time. Self-isolating can cause anxiety, loneliness and fear.

If you want to talk about, or need help with, anything effecting your mental health and wellbeing, people are there to listen and offer support.

Call NHS 111

  • Call 116 123 for free to talk to Samaritans, or email: for a reply within 24 hours.

A new mental health helpline for all ages has also been setup, with support from the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, to help relieve the pressure on 111.

You can call 01865 904 997 (adults) or 01865 904 998 (children and young people) to find out when and where to get help and to access support from mental health professionals, 24 hours a day.

Our Activity Hub has some ideas on how to improve your mental wellbeing without leaving your home.

Domestic abuse services

For some people, home is not always a safe place. Self-isolation should not place any adult or child at greater risk at an already anxious time.

We are working in a multi-agency group with local services to ensure there is support for those experiencing or fearful of domestic abuse. Support, refuge and safety planning is available by phone, email or Skype. Help includes:

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service

Call 0800 731 0055

Sanctuary scheme to remain safely in your home

Call 01865 252969 or email

Childline (for children and young people)

Call 0800 1111.

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week

Call 0808 200 0247

Call the police on 999 if you think you, or someone else, are in immediate danger. If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

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