One in four adults in England ignore self-isolation rules, survey suggests

75% of respondents said they fully adhered to the isolation requirements leaving one in four adults who said they took part in one activity that was against the isolation order


One in four adults in England who test positive for Covid-19 no longer follow the rules for self-isolating, a new survey suggests.

Some 75% of respondents said they fully adhered to the isolation requirements for the entire 10-day period after testing positive for coronavirus.

This is down from 78% in September and 86% in May, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which compiled the survey.

The latest figures are based on responses collected from adults in England between November 1 and 6.

The ONS described the drop from May to November as “statistically significant”.

The survey also found one in four adults (25%) said they carried out at least one activity during self-isolation that was against the requirements, such as leaving home or having visitors for reasons not permitted under the rules.

This is up from 22% in the September survey.

Tim Gibbs, head of the ONS public services analysis team, said: “The latest results show that although the majority of those testing positive for Covid-19 are following self-isolation requirements, there has been a decrease since earlier this year.

“It’s important that we continue to self-isolate when necessary in order to help keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the virus, especially as we are moving into the winter months.”

Some 74% of 18 to 34 year-olds said they fully followed the rules for self-isolating – down from 82% in September.

Around a third (34%) of people who tested positive said that self-isolation had a negative effect on their wellbeing and mental health.

This is unchanged from September but down from 42% in July.

The ONS added that the figures should be treated with care, as the survey was based on a relatively small sample of respondents who chose to report their own behaviour.