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Quarantine & isolation

Quarantine and isolation mean staying at home and avoiding contact with anyone other than those who live in your home. You may be put in quarantine or isolation if you've got an infectious disease. Staying at home prevents you passing the disease on to other people.

You may also be put in quarantine or isolation if you've been (or may have been) exposed to an infectious disease even though you do not have any symptoms. With many infectious diseases, you're infectious before you get any symptoms.

The importance of quarantine and isolation

It's important to avoid passing on infectious diseases to other people for several reasons.

Length of isolation

The time you need to stay in isolation varies with different diseases. Your doctor or public health team will tell you how long it needs to be.

What to do if you're in isolation

Stay away from other people

Be careful not to spread germs

Take care of yourself

Family members

Talk to your doctor about whether your family members need to stay in isolation with you or if they can continue to go to work, school and so on.

Tell your doctor if you have elderly, very young or pregnant people living with you. Also tell them if you have people living with you who have compromised immune systems or diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and kidney disease.

Quarantine & isolation plan

You'll find it easier to cope with quarantine and isolation if you've prepared for the possibility. You can add the following suggestions to your emergency preparedness plan:

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed June 2021.


Page reference: 617207

Review key: HISNY-105442