Updated 11 December 2020
Please note, from Monday 14 December, the period of self-isolation has been amended from 14 to 10 days.
The process chart opposite will help you determine what action to take if you think you may have come into contact with coronavirus.
When do employees need to self-isolate?
There are three scenarios in which an employee would have to self-isolate for an extended period on medical advice to prevent infection spread:
- they have symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive
- they have been informed by an NHS contact tracer that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- they live with a person who has symptoms or has tested positive
(You may also be required to self-isolate or ‘quarantine’ if returning from overseas – please see the Travel guidance for more specific information).
Click on the tabs below to find out what action to take in each scenario.
They need to self-isolate straight away, and complete this online form to arrange to be tested if they have not already done so.
If the test is positive, they need to continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the time their symptoms started.
If they feel well enough after 10 days, and have not had a high temperature for 48 hours (without taking any medicines to treat a high temperature) they can return to work. It is not unusual for people to feel unwell for longer than 10 days even in milder cases.
If the test is negative, they can return to work when they feel well enough.
Some workers may be tested without experiencing symptoms, and if they are confirmed to have the disease asymptomatically they would self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test.
If for any reason they cannot access a test, they need to continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the time their symptoms started. They can then return to work if they feel well and have not had a high temperature for 48 hours (without taking any medicines to treat a high temperature).
The Council has developed Outbreak guidance, which should be followed if an employee develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus.
Self-isolation means you should remain at home and should not go to work, school, public areas or use public transport. You should not go out to buy food or other essentials. You must stay at home.
While you are self-isolating, you should:
- stay at least 2 metres (6 feet, or 3 steps) away from other people in your home
- stay in a different room from other people in your home, ensuring it is well-ventilated
- sleep alone in a separate bed
- spend as little time as possible in shared areas (sitting room, kitchen, bathroom)
- avoid using your kitchen while others are present
- use a separate towel to dry your hands after you wash them; and
- clean your kitchen, bathroom and other surfaces throughout the house every day
You should always:
- wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds regularly, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands aren’t visibly dirty
- catch your coughs or sneezes in a disposable tissue and put it in the bin, or catch them in the crook of your elbow; and
- avoid touching your face, and especially your mouth, nose or eyes
It will be helpful to think about who you could ask for help to make sure you can stay at home and self-isolate successfully, such as your family, friends or neighbours who could collect food or medicines for you. You can also often arrange to have repeat prescriptions delivered, and retailers can offer deliveries of food and other essentials.
Further information on self-isolation and support that you can access can be found here – Self-isolating advice
Employees who have been instructed to self-isolate on medical advice to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection and who are unable to work from home will be granted paid leave under the provision within the absence arrangements in the SJC Scheme of Conditions of Service.
The position is that if an employee is prevented from attending work you will be required to advise your line manager immediately and will be entitled to receive normal pay. The period of absence on this account will not be counted against your entitlements under this scheme.
During the period of self-isolation, you will be required to keep in regular contact with your line manager and advise of any changes in your health.
(If you are required to self-isolate or ‘quarantine’ due to travel overseas, this is not covered by the above provision – please see the Travel guidance for more specific information)
Any team members performing alternative working arrangements need to update CoreHR as follows (you can do this on their behalf):
To be used where an individual has symptoms and is too unwell to undertake any work due to COVID-19.
Reason: COVID – Symptoms
COVID – Working from Home/Alt Work
To be used where an individual is able to undertake work from home but they or their household are required to self-isolate.
Reason: COVID – Self Isolation/Symptoms
Special Leave Paid
To be used where an individual is unable to work from home or in an alternative way but they or their household is required to self-isolate
Reason: COVID – Self Isolation/Symptoms
Please stay in regular contact with all team members and check in on their health and wellbeing, updating CoreHR as needed to reflect changing circumstances. A full list or recording options can be found on the Managers Guidance page.