Most people still following self-isolation rules, despite impact on wellbeing

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A majority of people who test positive for Covid-19 are continuing to follow the rules for self-isolating, a new survey has suggested.

Some 84% of respondents said they fully adhered to the self-isolation requirements for the entire 10-day period after testing positive for coronavirus.

Just 15% of people reported at least one activity during self-isolation that broke the rules, such as leaving home or having visitors for a reason not permitted under legislation.

The figures have been compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) based on responses collected from adults in England between April 12 and 16.

HEALTH Coronavirus SelfIsolation
(PA Graphics)

However, self-isolating is continuing to have an impact on people’s wellbeing.

More than a third (37%) of those who tested positive reported that self-isolation had a negative effect on their mental health.

This is broadly unchanged on the number in a previous ONS survey carried out from March 8 to 13 (36%).

Tim Gibbs, head of the ONS public services analysis team, said: “It is encouraging to see the majority of those who tested positive for coronavirus reported fully adhering to requirements designed to protect them and others from further spread of Covid-19.

“Self-isolation has put considerable strain on some people; over a third reported a negative impact of their wellbeing and mental health, and approximately a quarter reported a loss of income.

“We will continue to monitor the behaviours of those required to self-isolate as wider lockdown restrictions are eased.”

The survey found that just over one in four adults (27%) reported a loss of income, while 16% of those who had been working prior to self-isolating – either in or outside their home – said they were not paid during the self-isolation period.

Some 41% said they had worked as normal on full pay, while 16% said they had received the full amount of sick pay.

Among those who said they did not follow the self-isolation rules, the most-reported reason for leaving the house was to go to the shops (32%), followed by going to a place of work, school or university (23%).

The ONS said all figures should be treated with care, as the survey is based on a relatively small sample of respondents who have chosen to report their own behaviour.

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