Coronavirus self-isolation: 'No need for families to stay home'

News | Published:

THERE is no need for families of those who are self-isolating as a precaution to the coronavirus to self-isolate as well.

In light of the news that a group of Grammar School students were asked to self-isolate following a recent ski trip to northern Italy, the States of Guernsey has issued a statement which said there was no need for family members to stay home at this stage.

'Public Health advice is that households with siblings [of] students on the trip should maintain good standards of hand hygiene and have a low threshold for symptoms - cough, fever and shortness of breath.'

This is in line with Public Health England's guidance.

Around 80 students went on the trip to Piedmont last week. They have all been sent home from school as a precaution.

10 teachers also went on the trip, two of whom were from Ladies' College and are also self-isolating.

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One student is being tested for the coronavirus Covid-19, bringing the total number of samples tested to 13. All confirmed results so far have been negative with one now pending.

On the States website,, self-isolation is explained as the act of separating yourself from physical contact with the rest of the community for a specified period of time.


'This is for the good of the community, so that we can stop the possible spread of [the virus].'

Countries for which self-isolation is required has been divided into Group A and Group B.

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Group A: Mainland China [excluding Hong Kong and Macau], Iran, South Korea, Specific lockdown areas designated by the government of Italy.


Group B: Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau, Northern Italy [not including Pisa, Florence and Rimini], Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia.

Public Health are recommending that any individual should self-isolate irrespective of symptoms if they have returned from a Group A country in the last 14 days.

If you experience symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and have returned from a Group B country in the last 14 days, advice is to stay indoors and contact Public Health on 725241.

In both cases, if you feel very unwell, phone 999 and tell the operator of your symptoms and travel history.

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The States also issued advice stating: 'There is no risk of catching coronavirus when handling post or freight from affected countries.

'The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus cannot survive on paper or cardboard, so you are safe to open your post.'

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Self Isolation:

Current Public Health England guidance about self-isolation states that you should not attend work, school or public places, avoid visitors in your home and avoid using public transport or taxis.

Ensure sufficient supplies of food, drinks and routine medication. If supplies need to be replenished phone a family member or friend and request they deliver them to you and leave them outside your door.

Stay at home in a well-ventilated room with a window to the outside that can be opened. Separate from other people in your home, keep the door closed and use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household if possible.

Put the toilet lid down before flushing and, if you have to share these facilities, they need to be cleaned regularly.

Call ahead before visiting the GP.

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Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissues into a plastic waste bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying thoroughly.

If you are caring for someone who is undergoing testing for Covid-19, wash your and their hands thoroughly.

Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding and other items with people in your home when you have used them.

Laundry, bedding and towels should be placed in a plastic bag and washed once it is known that the tests are negative.

Monitor your symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your illness worsens and do not have visitors in your home.

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Only those who live in your home should be allowed to stay. If you think it is essential for someone to visit, discuss is with Public Health Services first.

'Self-isolation can be a difficult period of time, remaining in contact [via phone] with your friends and family will help with this,' a spokesperson for Public Health said.

'Public Health Services can offer you some support by providing a daily telephone contact service which can be arranged by calling 707438 Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm.'


Medical professionals in Alderney have received relevant training and advice and continue to be supported by the States of Guernsey.

A spokesperson for the Alderney States said there had been no confirmed cases so far but the island was remaining cautious.

The same travel advice is given to Alderney residents and anyone travelling from the listed countries who is suffering from symptoms is asked not to attend the Island Medical Centre or the Mignot Memorial Hospital.

Call either 822077 for the IMC or 822822 for the MMH to discuss with a GP.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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