Since the start of the pandemic not only has the way in which coronavirus affects people changed, but expectations on how we should act when testing positive have also shifted.

In 2020 and 2021 we faced mandatory lockdowns, keeping many of us at home for stretches of time.

There were also strict rules in place around infection, including self-isolation periods for those who had Covid.

The UK government has since retracted mandatory rules for testing and isolating.

Although this technically means you can still go about your usual activities even if you have Covid, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should, an expert has said.

Covid cases have risen again in the UK since July this year, with many scientists attributing the increase to the arrival of the new Eris and Pirola variants in the region.

With this in mind, Abbas Kanani – pharmacist at Chemist Click – spoke exclusively with about what to do if you test have COVID-19.

He advised not going into school or work for five days after testing positive if possible – or three days if you are a child or teenager.

“If you are 18 years old or over, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days after the day you took your COVID-19 test,” Abbas said.

“Children and those under 18 years old should try to stay at home, not go to school and avoid contact with other people for three days after the day the test was taken.”

This is in line with the current NHS recommendations in order to prevent the spread of infection.

It is also important to consider staying away from people who are particularly vulnerable to Covid.

Abbas continued: “It’s important to avoid meeting people who are more likely to get seriously ill from viruses, such as people with a weakened immune system, for 10 days after the day you took your test.

“You can go back to your normal activities when you feel better or do not have a high temperature.”

He also warned that getting vaccinated does not mean you are completely immune to infection.

Instead, the Covid vaccine can lessen the impact of infection, meaning you don’t experience such severe symptoms.

“It’s important to note that you can still catch or spread COVID-19 if you do not have symptoms, are fully vaccinated and have had the virus before,” Abbas said.

“Many people will no longer be infectious to others after five days, but you can be infectious for up to 10 days.”

Symptoms of Covid can be similar to those of flu or a cold.

The NHS lists symptoms of the disease as:

  • A high temperature or shivering (chills)
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

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