Coronavirus / Self-isolation

Self-Isolation under coronavirus regulations

This information is correct as of 28 February 2022 but is subject to possible changes.

This page sets out the law and guidance which applies in England only.

When Am I required to self-isolate?

On 24 February 2022, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 were revoked. These regulations required you to self-isolate if you test positive for coronavirus on a PCR test, or if you were identified as a close contact. This has therefore removed almost every requirement to self-isolate. This includes when you have travelled from a non-red list country and tested positive, even if you are unvaccinated. The NHS Test and Trace service has also closed down.

There are some remaining self-isolation requirements when travelling from red list countries. However, at the time of publishing, there are no countries on the red list.

However, NHS guidance still recommends staying home if you test positive to avoid transmitting the virus.


If you were notified of a requirement to self-isolate before 24 February 2022, you were required to do so regardless of your employment.

This presented challenges for people in certain kinds of work that can’t be done remotely. If you can’t work from home, then you should discuss with your employer whether you can take this period as sick leave or annual leave. Your employer is, unfortunately, not under any automatic obligation to pay you for this period. There are some other options depending on your situation.

If you are eligible for statutory sick pay (i.e. you are off work for four consecutive days or more) you may be able to claim this. Your employment contract may also provide for sick pay; you should review your contract and discuss this with your employer. This may not be relevant if you are having to isolate upon returning to the UK from a red list country.

The government benefit payment is still available. You will be able to apply for this until 6 April 2022. However, there are strict eligibility requirements for this, and these requirements may change depending on where in the UK you are.

What are my rights on this?

Find out more about your rights and how the Human Rights Act protects them

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