Self isolation criteria: Can you still walk your dog if you self-isolate?

As of March 19, the number of UK coronavirus cases has risen to 1,543. Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, said on March 12 that he expects the UK would reach the peak of its coronavirus outbreak in about 10 to 14 weeks.

What is self-isolation?

The NHS is currently advising you to self-isolate for seven days if you have symptoms of coronavirus, like a high temperature, or a new continuous cough.

If you have travelled to a badly affected area, or have been in contact with someone with the disease, you will also need to self-isolate.

The Government website reads: “Staying at home while you have coronavirus (COVID-19) helps to protect your friends, colleagues and the wider community.

“It will also help to control the spread of the virus.”


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Can you still walk your dog if you self-isolate?

When you self-isolate, you need to stay away from public places and must stay at home.

This means you cannot take your pets out for walks in public places, but you can take them out in your own garden.

Pets will need to be able to go outside frequently throughout the day while you are recovering.

With more time indoors, its also a good idea to plan how you can keep your pet occupied while self-isolating.

If you’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus, the RSPCA advise: “If you have been diagnosed with Coronavirus (Covid-19) then you should inform your local health protection team that there is a pet in the household.

“They will liaise with the relevant animal health authorities.

“The current advice is to restrict contact with pets as much as possible as a precautionary animal health measure.


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“If you do need to interact with your pet, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.

“If your pet shows signs of ill health, please do not take them to the vet.

“Contact your local health protection team for advice.”

The RSPCA have also issued tips for keeping your pets and family safe while self-isolating.

The charity advises:

  • If you haven’t tested positive or been asked to self-isolate then continue to interact with your pets as normal but adopt good hygiene practices including washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching them, their food, toys and bedding.
  • Avoid being kissed or licked and sharing food with your pet.
  • Ensure you have extra supplies of pet food and medication in case of self-isolation.
  • Speak to your vet or doctor for more advice.

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