Staying on top of all the advice that is going on can be difficult and confusing so here are some of the most important things to bear in mind. Below is an attempt to explain and summarise the difference based on NHS advice.
Please refer to the appropriate pages if anything remains unclear or if you have further questions. You can consult the government website https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ or the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ .
If you are concerned about your health or show any flu symptoms phone your local GP or NHS 111. If you have general questions on the Corona crisis you can phone the Scottish Government hotline: 0800 028 2816
Now, let’s turn to those three main terms we read and hear these days: social-distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation.
Social Isolation means that you try your very best to avoid physical interaction with people you are not close with. Of course it is impossible to avoid all interaction such as shopping food or collecting prescriptions but you should keep it to an absolute minimum and be mindful of hand-hygiene and avoid touching your face. If you interact with or are part of the Vulnerable People category (elderly, persons with pre-existing health conditions, and pregnant women) you should be extra vigilant in practicing hand-hygiene, not touching your face, and keeping 1-2m personal distance.
Quarantine and Self-isolation are very similar. Both mean no interaction with other people and staying home. You should not go out and arrange for deliveries for any essentials you might need. These deliveries should be dropped infront of your door rather than being handed over.
The differences between quarantine and self-isolation are as follows:
Quarantine applies if you supect you might have contracted the virus but you are not suffering any symptoms. You should stay home and and avoid all interaction for 14 days.
Self-Isolation applies if you show symptoms. You should isolate for at least 7 days from the day your symptoms start. That means that if you were in quarantine before that your period of non-interaction might be longer than 14 days. For example, if you start showing symptoms on day 13 of your quarantine you would need to add 7 days (making it 20 days of non-interaction all together). If you cannot cope with the symptoms or don’t get better after 7 days call NHS 111.
For further information and advice go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/