How do I keep my shared house safe?

I live with other adults and we don't want to infect each other

Answer

Two million renters live in shared accommodation with more than two adults sharing a kitchen and/or bathroom. The Government has issued the following advice for people living in shared accommodation who show symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back - or a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly):

  • if you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. 
  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible.

Read more

As of 24th April, all essential workers showing symptoms and their households are eligible for a coronavirus test. So, if your housemate is an essential worker and you're worried you may be infected, find out more about how to apply for a test here.