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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

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Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Self-isolation

Information alert box Last updated: 20 July 2021

This is a fast moving situation and we will try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible.
Please continue to check national guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your question is not answered below, and you are a member of staff, please speak to your line manager or email

If your question is about an OUH HR matter that isn't addressed here, please discuss this initially with your line manager who can then raise it with the HR consultant for your Division.

Some links are to documents on the OUH internal staff intranet: if you are a staff member and cannot access the intranet, please email and we will send you the document you need.

Please remember guidance is likely to change rapidly, so check back to see if you have the most up-to-date version of a document.

Self-isolation FAQs

What is the guidance on self-isolation?

Self-isolation is a really important part of protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your colleagues.

If you are not feeling well, you are not expected to be at work. You should also self-isolate if a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19.

The flowchart at the link below explains the actions you should take if you or a member of your household have symptoms of COVID-19.

Do you, or does any member of your household, have any symptoms of COVID-19 (pdf, 129 KB)

Self-isolating protects your friends, family and community - blog

I have been 'pinged' by the Test and Trace app, or told I need to isolate. Should I follow the guidance?

Yes. If you are told to self-isolate because you have been identified as a close contact of COVID-19 by NHS Test and Trace, it remains a legal requirement to self-isolate.

In very exceptional circumstances, double vaccinated staff who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work after a risk assessment. Depending on your day of exposure, you may need a negative PCR test (if accepted on the programme this will be done on day 5) and you will need to undertake daily negative lateral flow tests as instructed for up to 10 days.

This measure will only apply to frontline staff where their absence may lead to a significant risk of harm, and only after a risk assessment has been carried out by the staff testing team. The staff testing team will formally enter you onto the daily testing programme. You should not decide to do this yourself as you may be fined for not isolating when you are legally required to do so – you must be risk assessed and enrolled in the programme.

It is highly unlikely that you will be allowed to work if your contact is a household member, or you work routinely with people who are immunocompromised. You cannot use this programme to avoid isolation following travel abroad. Please DO NOT email the staff testing team if you fall into these groups, and please isolate as instructed.

Any staff who are permitted to attend work will still legally need to self-isolate outside of work.

I live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term health condition, or has a weakened immune system. Should I self-isolate?

If you live with someone who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of an underlying health condition, you can read the Government's advice on how to stay safe. If you are still concerned, please read the information below on how you can apply for temporary accommodation.

Do I have to call FirstCare or my line manager if I have to self-isolate and I can't work from home?

Yes, you do. You will need to follow the normal procedure for reporting absence, which is to call FirstCare.

You should check with your line manager for any local procedures regarding the reporting of absence after making contact with FirstCare.

If you are symptom-free, this will be classed as a non-medical absence (as you are not unwell), and you will be given up to 10 days' authorised paid leave.

If I self-isolate with no symptoms but I'm still able to work from home, do I need to phone FirstCare?

No, there is no need to phone FirstCare in this instance.

What about quarantine after returning from abroad?

Please see Quarantine FAQs.