Coronavirus: Online isolation notes - providing proof of absence from work

News article

Employees can get an isolation note online if they need to self-isolate

People unable to work because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through an online service.

Who can get an isolation note?

Isolation notes are for employees who:

  • have symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive
  • live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, and the employee is not fully vaccinated
  • have been told to self-isolate by a test and trace service or the NHS COVID-19 app

Employees under the age of 18 years and 6 months only need to self-isolate if they have symptoms of coronavirus, or have tested positive.

For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they don’t need any evidence for their employer. After that, employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence.

Employers should use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee has been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus.

If you need evidence that an employee cannot work because of coronavirus, ask them to get an isolation note. Employers can check an isolation note is valid.

How to get an isolation note

Employees can use the NHS online service to get an isolation note if:

  • they have symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive
  • they live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, and they’re not fully vaccinated
  • they’ve been told to self-isolate by a test and trace service or the NHS COVID-19 app

If your employee is aged under 18 and 6 months they only need to self-isolate if they have symptoms or have tested positive. They do not need to self-isolate if they live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive.

If staff have to isolate but feel well enough to work, you could facilitate them working from home. If they can work from home, they will not need an isolation note.

Get an isolation note from the NHS website.

Latest guidance on self-isolating and close contacts

If you have symptoms of or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 you must self-isolate. If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, follow the latest guidance on self-isolation and testing.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): self-isolating and close contacts.


First published: 23 March 2020