For casual contacts of people with COVID-19

If you have been in the same place as someone with COVID-19, Public Health may tell you that you are a casual contact.

  • A casual contact is a person who may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, but not exposed enough to be at risk i.e. not within 2 metres of a case or for more than 15 minutes.
  • If you are a casual contact, the risk of getting COVID-19 is low, but you should still watch for symptoms.
  • Casual contacts may be asked to get a COVID-19 test. If you are asked to get a test, please stay home until you receive a negative test result.
  • Practise good hygiene and wear a face cover when out in public.
  • Record your movements, where you have been and who you have seen. Write down a list or use the COVID-19 tracer app. 

Covid 19 Close and casual contacts working v3

Even if you are not tested or if your test result is negative, please watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after you were last in the same space as the infected person.

Watch for these symptoms:

  • New or worsening cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Temporary loss of smell
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose.

If you develop symptoms or become unwell, seek medical help but phone ahead first. You can also free phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Interpreters are available.

  • Wear a mask or face cover when you are in public, especially if you cannot maintain social distancing.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; throw used  tissues into a lined rubbish bin, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly.
  • You can also use a hand sanitiser if there is no soap and water available.
  • Throughout the day, wash and dry your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces like kitchen benches and door handles regularly.

Last updated 19.11.2020

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