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Coronavirus tests and self-isolating

Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones.

It is vital that you play your part and follow the rules around isolation. Breaking them could lead to a fine of up to £10,000.

Get a coronavirus test

Get a free NHS test if:

  • you have coronavirus symptoms, or
  • you have been asked to get tested by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council.

Don't get tested if none of the above apply to you.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperaturea new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

When to self-isolate

You must stay at home and self-isolate immediately if: 

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus 
  • you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus 
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive 
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive 
  • you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app 
  • you arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk. 

For more information see: 

When self-isolating, do not go to work, school or any other public spaces. Any exercise should be taken within your home, and you should ask friends or family to buy food or other essentials.

Get help if you're self-isolating

You may be entitled to a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment if you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

More help for Merton residents who are self-isolating

For organisations and employers

Schools

Please follow the official guidance on testing for schools and colleges. It is very important that this guidance is followed. Schools should not advise pupils or teachers to take a test unless they exhibit one or more of the listed symptoms. If there is a confirmed case then schools should not advise entire classes or year groups to get tested. Only those with symptoms or those advised by their clinician or Local Authority should get a test. Schools must not require students without symptoms to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.

Employers

You should not be asking members of staff to get tested before they come into the workplace. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff. 

Travel companies

You should not be directing clients to NHS Test and Trace to get a test for anything related to overseas travel.