You need to self-isolate if:

  • you have Covid-19 symptoms
  • you have received a positive test result, either LFD or PCR
  • you are a close contact or household contact of a positive case and you have not been fully vaccinated
  • you are notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate

You need to isolate to:

  • protect your family, friends and neighbours. 1 in 3 people show no Covid-19 symptoms but are still infectious to others
  • limit the spread of the virus through vulnerable communities and the non-vaccinated 
  • keep hospital admissions low
  • keep Sheffield open and moving forward

If you have COVID-19 symptoms

You must self-isolate if you have any of these symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You must not leave your home for any other reason than to get a PCR test or for emergency reasons. You must self-isolate while you wait for the test results, this also means exercising indoors or in your garden.

You should not have visitors in your home, including friends and family, except for people providing essential care.

You must limit social contact with the people you live with and practice good hygiene such as separate towels, cleaning the bathroom after each use and eating or washing up separately.

Ensure as much ventilation as possible in your home by opening windows where safe to do so.

If you test positive for Covid-19, you may be able to end your self-isolation period before the end of the 10 full days. You can take a daily LFD test from the fifth day of your isolation period, and another LFD test on the following day. The second LFD test should be taken at least 24 hours later. 

If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result. You should not take an LFD test before the fifth day of your isolation period, and you should only end your self-isolation following 2 consecutive negative LFD tests which should be taken at least 24 hours apart. 

Although a confirmatory PCR test is no longer required if you have a positive LFD test, you should still get a confirmatory PCR test if:

  • you want to apply for the £500 Test and Trace support payment
  • you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and are accessing antiviral treatment
  • you are asked to as part of a testing research or surveillance programme
  • you receive a positive LFD test on day 2 after arriving in England

If you live with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19

If you live with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 you should follow the stay at home guidance for households: 

  • take an LFD test every day for 7 days, or until 10 days after the household member who has COVID-19 started their self-isolation period if this is earlier
  • take this daily LFD test before you leave your home for the first time that day

If your daily LFD test result is negative, it is likely that you were not infectious at the time the test was taken. To further reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others, you are strongly advised:

  • to limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces
  • to work from home if you are able to
  • in addition to venues where it is a legal requirement, to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces and where you are in close contact with other people
  • to limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19
  • to follow the GOV.UK guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

If you aren't fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate for the full 10 days.

Read the guidance for households with possible or confirmed Covid-19 on the Government site.

If you are a close, non-household contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19

Close contact means:

  • having face-to-face contact with someone at a distance of less than 1 metre
  • spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone, or in close proximity to someone on a plane 

You must self-isolate if you are over 18 and a close contact of a positive case and you aren’t fully vaccinated (or you had your last dose within 14 days) regardless of whether you test positive or negative.

If you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your final dose) then you will no longer be required to self-isolate by law if you are a close contact of a positive case. Instead, you should take an LFD test daily for the next 7 days or until 10 days since your last contact if this is sooner. If you develop symptoms, book a PCR test.

Even if you do not have symptoms, you should still:

  • follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19
  • consider limiting contact with people who are at higher risk from COVID-19

Read the guidance for contacts of people with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection who do not live with the person on the Government website.

If you have travelled or will be travelling abroad

You should:

If your child is under 18 years and 6 months

If your child is a positive case

Children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare setting and who have been identified as a case may end self-isolation and continue to attend the setting as normal after 6 days, following two negative LFD test results taken 24 hours apart. The first of these LFD tests should be taken no earlier than 5 days.

If your child is identified as a contact

Children aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 should take an LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result.

School Covid-19 enquiries

You can call the Department of Education helpline for COVID-19 on 0800 046 8687 (option 1 for cases). Available Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Sheffield Test, Trace and Isolate Service

Our local test, trace and isolate service carry out contact tracing of those who receive a positive Covid-19 test, as part of the government’s nationwide NHS Test and Trace programme.

The service is operated by Sheffield City Council’s Covid-19 Response Hub, working with partner services and organisations to ensure that those who we contact can access the support they need and expert advice about how to isolate successfully. 

What happens if the service contacts you

If you test positive using a PCR test, you will receive a text from NHS Test and Trace. They will give you a link to start the contact tracing process.

Your details may be passed to our Test, Trace and Isolate team. We will contact you first by text message to explain that you will be receiving a phone call. This text will contain a link to our isolation support pack which gives details of support available to help you successfully isolate. We will then call you on the same day. 

Text messages will come from Sheffield City Council and calls will come from 0114 273 6563 – it will never be a private number.

Children under 18 will be contacted by phone. We will ask if a parent, carer or other family member over the age of 18 is present, we cannot continue the call with a child under the age of 16 without adult consent.

If you miss our call

If our Test, Trace and Isolate team has tried to call you, you should call them back on 0114 273 6563.

Please only call if you have been contacted by the team about your Covid-19 test.

We will ask you for:

  • your name, date of birth and postcode
  • who you live with
  • any places you’ve been recently, such as a workplace or school
  • names and contact details of any people you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started

We will never ask for:

  • bank details or payments
  • details of other accounts, such as social media
  • you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

Scammers are in operation and, if you are suspicious about a call, you should hang up and contact us on 0114 273 6563 or email

What support is available

Community helpline

  • can help you if you have no one else to support you or if you are self-isolating
  • can do shopping, medication collection, social contact, or urgent support
  • can help you apply for financial aid
  • we will never ask for credit card details

Call on 0114 273 4567 or ask for help online.

£500 NHS Test and Trace support payment

You can apply for a payment of £500 if you are employed or self-employed and will lose income because:

  • you have been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • you have been asked to isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app
  • or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

Remember if you have a positive LFD test, you must get a confirmatory PCR test to access the payment.

Find out if you're eligible and apply on our Test and Trace support payment page.

Household support fund

The Household support fund is to support Sheffield residents who are having difficulties paying for food and other essentials due to COVID-19. Find out if you're eligible on our Support for people page.

If you need help to apply for COVID-19 Hardship Related Assistance call the community helpline on 0114 273 4567 (option 0) and they can go through it with you.

Avoiding COVID-19 scams

A number of scams have been reported on COVID-19 related issues. You can stay alert to potential COVID-19 scams by signing up for Action Fraud's fraud alert service.

General guidance:

  • you will never be called by Test and Trace from a mobile or withheld number
  • you will never be asked to call a premium rate number, set up a password or PIN over the phone, or provide your bank details
  • you will never be asked to make a payment for a COVID test (except for those relating to travel), COVID vaccination, or COVID pass
  • travel tests are chargeable and you should only use one of the approved providers listed at GOV.UK:Find a coronavirus travel test provider if you're arriving in England

If you believe that you have been a victim of COVID-19 fraud, report it to Actionfraud.

Contact the Community Helpline

Ask us a question

0114 273 4567 7 days a week 8:45am to 4:45pm