1 in 4 admit they’d ‘pop to the shops’ even if asked to stay at home

Living Magazines Self isolation

Organisations across Hertfordshire are backing a new, hard-hitting campaign after a recent survey revealed 27% of Hertfordshire residents would leave their homes to go shopping – even if asked to self-isolate.

Self-isolation is not the same as lockdown and means staying at home because you are at risk of infecting others. It is a vital part of bringing coronavirus infection rates down. The county council survey showed other reasons for leaving the house during self-isolation included: guidance not clear (23%); caring responsibilities (17%); needing to go to work (11%); and wanting to see friends and family (5%).

Many people manage to self-isolate successfully but for some it can be a real challenge – whether that’s because of family commitments, caring responsibilities, a financial need to work or because people don’t fully understand what it means. But local organisations are eager to highlight the support available.

Darryl Keen, Director of Community Protection, Chief Fire Officer and chair of the strategic coordination group of the LRF, said: ‘Essentially self-isolation means you cannot leave your home for any reason unless it is an emergency – if you do, you not only risk being fined, but you could also spread coronavirus to more people, putting a strain on the NHS and ultimately putting lives at risk.

‘There has been a significant rise in cases in Hertfordshire, but staying at home if you’re ill is the single most important thing you can do to help us stop coronavirus spreading.’

Anita McArthur-Worboy from HertsHelp, Hertfordshire’s countywide information, advice and support service, said: ‘If you need help with essential tasks such as shopping, collecting medicines, dog-walking, or you are worried about your finances or emotional wellbeing, please get in touch – we support people from all walks of life and people should not be embarrassed to ask for help if they are struggling.’

You should self-isolate when:

  • you are symptomatic or have tested positive (10 days)
  • someone in your household or bubble is symptomatic or has tested positive (14 days)
  • when asked to by NHS Test and Trace or a nursery, school or college (14 days)

Things you can’t do when in isolation:

  • visit family or friends or have visitors to your home (except for people providing essential care)
  • go to any shops or supermarkets – order food and medicine online or ask for help
  • go out to exercise or walk your dog – exercise at home or in your garden
  • go to work, university, college or school – work from home if you can
  • use public transport, taxis or share a car
  • attend parties or other events, even if these are outside

Please continue to play your part to protect your families, friends, neighbours and communities by washing your hands, covering your face, giving people space and meeting up with as few people as possible.

If you are feeling unwell, you should book a test at www.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

For support from HertsHelp visit www.hertshelp.net, email info@hertshelp.net or call 0300 123 4044.