Coronavirus (COVID-19) and self-isolation

Guidance for residents

Important government restrictions on entering the UK from abroad

From 15th February the UK government has placed a number of countries on a travel ban list and introduced mandatory testing. Further information below.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you stay at home for at least 10 days because you may have coronavirus. An infected person can spread the virus through talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing. You will not necessarily display symptoms, and so if you do not leave your home you will prevent spreading the virus to other people. The Government has issued guidance on self-isolation which you can find here.


To help support you during your stay at iQ you can tell us if you are self isolating at iQ via the APP. Just click on self isolation on the updates section.

When to self-isolate

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you'll need to self-isolate for at least 10 days. You'll also need to self-isolate for 10 days if:

  • If you have travelled to the UK from abroad. Find out more here.
  • You, someone you live with, or someone in your support bubble are displaying signs of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • You, someone you live with, or someone in your support bubble, have tested positive for coronavirus
  • You’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

For clarity, your household will be your home address, but you will form a new household when you arrive at iQ.


Travel and self-isolation

If you are travelling to the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, you must self-isolate.

When entering England from a country with a travel ban to the UK, you must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

When entering Scotland, the hotel quarantine requirement applies on arrival from all countries except Ireland.

You will need to book two COVID-19 tests. Full information for England can be found here, or for Scotland see here


Getting a test

If you display symptoms of coronavirus then you must get a test as soon as possible, and this must be done within the first 5 days of displaying symptoms. You can find out how to get a COVID-19 test here.

If you aren’t displaying symptoms, then you do not need to get a test.

Those entering the UK from abroad are required to book two COVID-19 tests.


Managing your symptoms

The NHS provides guidance on managing coronavirus symptoms at home, see here.

You should call 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home. You should call 999 if you’re symptoms become severe, for example struggling to breathe. Detailed information on what to do can be found here.


Living at iQ


Self-isolation at iQ

Residents should feel comfortable and able to relax in the comfort of their home. To keep everyone safe, there are some basic recommendations that those self-isolating should follow, both in line with government guidance and as a precaution of shared accommodation.

We recommend you tell your flatmates/neighbours that you are self-isolating so that you have the support you need, and everyone feels safe and respected in their home. You can notify iQ staff that you are self-isolating, through the iQ app (see self-isolation in the updates section)

During your self-isolation period, you must not leave your own room or studio. The only exceptions being:

  • To use shared the kitchens for short times as detailed below
  • To evacuate the building in an emergency, such as a fire alarm.
  • To smoke in the designated outdoor areas, for short periods only.

In both instances you must physically distance yourself from others.

Do not use common areas.

Do not visit Reception, please contact iQ staff via the app, or give us a ring. [link to contact us page]

To dispose of waste, please double-bag it and leave the bag outside your door. Notify your team and they will collect it.

If you are in a cluster flat:

  • If you need to use a shared kitchen, you should do this at a time when no other people are present. If this is not possible, please maintain a physical distance from others and avoid face to face contact
  • Make sure you clean any surfaces you have touched thoroughly, before and after use. Take your food back to your room to eat.


 How we are supporting you

It’s a good idea to identify an iQ neighbour who can help support you during your self-isolation. This person can pick up parcels or sign for grocery shopping. Should you not have anyone to support you, then iQ will assist with:

  • collection of parcels
  • receiving grocery shopping
  • periodically taking out refuse
  • emergency repairs and maintenance

We still want to keep things social. iQ has a number of virtual events, and clubs for you to enjoy and keep you connected while you are self-isolating. Head over to to find out about all the great things that you can be part of.


Self-Isolation support at iQ



Our partnerships

If you need any mental health support, SHOUT is a free, confidential, 24/7 support text line. The service is confidential and can be accessed anywhere, at anytime. Simply text “SHOUT” to 85258 to have a conversation with one of their trained volunteers.

iQ is working in partnership with Pinglocker to provide essentials packs such as PPE, bedding and kitchen items, to take the stress out of new home shopping. Packs can be purchased through your iQ app, and will be ready for your arrival.


Arriving at iQ for the first time

Anyone arriving from a country outside of the UK is required to self-isolate for 10 days.

If you are arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list, then you must book a quarantine hotel for your period of self-isolation

Any person arriving to Scotland from abroad should self-isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel.

iQ has continued to support our residents throughout the pandemic, and will continue to do all we can to create safe, welcoming homes.

We have adapted our service to meet the changing needs of residents. We have moved to a zero contact parcel service which includes delivering packages to rooms of those self-isolating; enhancing our iQ app so you can manage your stay digitally, and order items such as bedding packs, cleaning and laundry services; as well as assisting with food deliveries to rooms.

We have outlined some important information about the LEGAL requirement to self-isolate below.


Getting to your iQ location

Before entering the UK and upon arrival you will be required to:

  • Complete a form online with your contact and travel details and show your form when you arrive at the airport. The UK Government will use this information to contact you if you, or someone you’ve travelled with, develops coronavirus symptoms, and to check that you’re self-isolating for the first 10 days. Contact will also be used to verify you are isolating in a quarantine hotel if required to do so
  • Go straight to the place where you will self-isolate. Friends or family can collect you from the airport, port or station. You should only use public transport if you have no other option. If you do use public transport, wear a face covering and stay 2 metres apart from others.

iQ offers airport transfers through our partner Pinglocker, which can be booked through your iQ app – just click on the arrival products and services icon.

You must not travel to iQ accommodation if arriving from any country outside of Scotland, or any country listed on the UK travel ban list, you must book in to a quarantine hotel to isolate for 10 days. Once your period of isolation has ended you will be permitted to move in and collect your keys.

For those arriving from outside of the UK but not on the travel ban list, once you arrive at your accommodation, our staff will give you the keys to your room. You should not leave your room or flat for 10 days.There are some exceptional circumstances that apply and for which you can leave, this includes if you:

  • require urgent medical treatment
  • need support from social services
  • need to get food and medicine and cannot get them delivered, or get a friend or family member to bring them
  • are going to the funeral of a close relative, or for other compassionate reasons
  • need to leave the building because there is an emergency, for example there’s a fire at the place you’re staying.


Getting to iQ

If you need any mental health support

SHOUT is a free, confidential, 24/7 support text line. The service is confidential and can be accessed anywhere, at any time. Simply text “SHOUT” to 85258 to have a conversation with one of their trained volunteers.

For the latest Government guidance: