Eight things you can still leave the house for while isolating with Covid at Christmas

HUNDREDS of thousands of Brits will be self-isolating this Christmas as Omicron rips through the country.

But there are some exemptions to the required quarantining which mean that those who have tested positive, or are close contacts, can leave the house.

However, the UK Health Security Agency insists these are “exceptional circumstances”, and that people “should have considered all other options first” before going out. 

They added that if they must leave they should “think about how you can limit contact with other people”.

Here we take a look at those special exceptions…


Quarantined Brits have permission to leave their house to “seek medical assistance, where this is required urgently or on the advice of a registered medical practitioner”.

The rules explain that this includes “services from dentists, opticians, audiologists, chiropodists, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health practitioners, or services relating to mental health”.

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Anytone who is self-isolating can still “attend a funeral of a close family member”

In law under the The Social Fund Maternity and Funeral Expenses (General) Regulations 2005 a “close family member” is defined as the following: 

“Parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son, step-son-in-law, step-daughter, step-daughter-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, sister or sister-in-law”.


Similarly, you can also “access veterinary services, where this is required urgently or on the advice of a veterinary surgeon”.

This means in an emergency situation you can take your pet for medical treatment at the vet. 


Under isolation rules Brits have a right to “obtain basic necessities, such as food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) where it is not possible to obtain these provisions in any other manner”.

This would only apply in very particular circumstances – where those self-isolating do not have the option to order online or to get someone else to deliver it.


The rules also give an exemption to help those who are suffering domestic abuse.

It states that Brits can flee “to escape a risk of harm” by “moving to a different place specified in paragraph 1a, where it becomes impracticable to remain at the place at which they are.”

The locations are “1a' are your home, the home of a friend or family member; bed and breakfast accommodation; accommodation provided or arranged under section 4, 95 or 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999” or “another suitable place”.


Those with covid or who are a close contact can break isolation “to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or participating in legal proceedings”.

Similarly, they can also leave to “access critical public services, including social services, and services provided to victims (such as victims of crime)”.


THE Covid-19 isolation period has been slashed from ten days to just seven – freeing up Brits to enjoy Christmas.

Ministers have announced that people need two negative lateral flow tests – the first on day six and the second 24 hours later – in order to leave quarantine.

The rule change comes into effect from today (Wednesday, December 22), meaning it could free hundreds of thousands of people who tested positive last week and expected to be isolating until Christmas.

At least 280,000 Brits will now be allowed to spend Christmas with their families.

Self-isolation starts the day you tested positive, or from when your symptoms started prior to your test.

So there are likely thousands more whose symptoms started in the days prior who are able to enjoy Christmas after thinking they could not.


Isolating Brits are allowed to leave home to go to an official coronavirus testing site, or accompanying a child to this location so they can take a test.

The same applies if you need to post a completed Covid-19 home test carried out at home.


The UKHSA guidance reads: “In exceptional circumstances, you may need to temporarily leave self-isolation. You should have considered all other options first.”

It adds: “If you have no other options, you should think about how you can limit contact with other people.”

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