How to self-isolate (quarantine)

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps stop the virus from spreading to other people. The guidance on this page is informed by NHS Scotland, the Scottish Government and University of Stirling safety measures.

Note: This page is about self-isolation. The advice applies to all staff and students, on campus or elsewhere. For information on quarantine when arriving in Scotland from outside the UK please see our self-isolation (quarantine) information for international arrivals.

If you are unwell and need information on booking a test and letting the University know, first read what to do if you develop Coronavirus symptoms.

Preparing for self-isolation

Everyone should plan ahead so they know what to do if they have to self-isolate. This means staying in for 10 days without leaving your residence. There are lots of things you can’t do or that are harder to do when you have to stay inside and minimise contact with others.

It’s a good idea to think about these things before you have to do it. Things you need to consider:

  • What you'll need if you have to stay at home for 10 days
  • Who you need to notify, and how to do that
  • How you’ll access food and essential supplies
  • Making sure you have internet access for essential deliveries, communication with others, study and/or work
  • How you’ll cook/eat in a house with others
  • How you’ll do laundry
  • How you’ll clean your residence and dispose of rubbish
  • Things you can do when you’re stuck inside
  • Who you can contact if you need extra support

Tip: It can help to write these things down so you can easily remind yourself if you're unwell. 

Self-isolation guidance for everyone

The advice in this section applies to everyone. That means all staff and students, on campus or elsewhere. 

If you have to self-isolate, you need to stay in one place for the full 10 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others. This can include:

  • your own accommodation – university-managed or private
  • staying with friends or family (if there already)
  • a hotel or other temporary accommodation

You must not have any visitors unless they are providing:

  • emergency assistance
  • care or assistance, including personal care
  • medical assistance
  • certain critical public services

You must also let the University know you are self-isolating. Do this by completing the short COVID reporting form.


  • Stay separate from other people and minimise time in common areas

  • Order food/essentials online, or have them dropped at your door

  • Cover coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands regularly

  • Disinfect touch points regularly (handles, switches etc)

  • Open your windows for fresh air

  • Handle laundry, cooking, and waste disposal separately

  • Look after your mental health

Do not

  • Leave your home, except for emergencies, medical reasons or COVID testing

  • Have visitors in your home

  • Walk outside, other than in your own garden

  • Go to any public places

  • Use public transport

  • Share items with others (food, dishes, towels, cloths, bedding etc)

Getting food

It’s important that you have a plan for accessing food whilst self-isolating. You cannot leave your accommodation – even for essential items and groceries.

There are lots of online supermarkets that will deliver your groceries to your flat and food outlets that deliver takeaway food.

Off-campus supermarket delivery

Most big supermarkets offer a delivery service. You will need to create an account. Shop online at:

Take-away services

Delivery services like Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo offer non-contact delivery. They can be accessed via apps or on a web browser.

If you live close to the University, there are many take-away options in the local area. Find top-rated delivery restaurants and fast-food restaurants.

On-campus supermarket delivery

Our onsite supermarket, the Co-op, has an online delivery service available for residents on campus. You will need to register to use this service. As with other online shopping services, you can make your selections and then have them delivered to your flat/building for a small fee of £3.

To access on-campus delivery:

  1. Visit
  2. search FK9 4LA postcode (The University postcode) and you’ll see Nisa or the Co-op, University of Stirling
  3. Select items
  4. Type ‘contact-free delivery, self-isolation’ along with your contact number in the ‘leave a note’ box
  5. Complete purchase


Accessing healthcare

NHS inform provides quality healthcare advice and information.

If you are unwell and need healthcare whilst self-isolating, call NHS 24 on 111 for advice. Do not visit your GP surgery or a pharmacy.

In the event of a medical emergency, call 999 and tell the operator you are self-isolating.

New arrivals

Even if you are well, you must make healthcare arrangements. You need to register with a doctor as soon as possible after you arrive.

The GP practice on campus is Airthrey Park Medical Centre and you can register with them online.

Looking after your mental health

Self-isolating can be lonely, scary and frustrating. Looking after your wellbeing is as important as looking after your body. It’s important that you know how to access support if you’re not feeling your best. 

Mental health resources


Togetherall is a digital mental health support service. It’s available online, 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Professionally trained guides monitor the community to ensure the safety and anonymity of all members.

There are also useful resources you can work through, including tailored self-help courses on anxiety, sleep, depression and more.

This service is available to all students and staff. Find out more about Togetherall.

NHS – Every Mind Matters

There are lots of resources on the NHS Every Mind Matters hub. It has expert advice and practical tips to look after your mental health and wellbeing, with lots of advice on coping during the Coronavirus pandemic, including advice for parents and carers.

Mind coronavirus wellbeing hub

The mental health charity Mind has lots of tips and advice on things you can do to look after your wellbeing during self-isolation. You can find this on their Coronavirus and your wellbeing hub

When your self-isolation ends

If you don't have any Coronavirus symptoms after 10 days, you can stop self-isolating.

If you have remained well during your self-isolation, you no longer have to follow the self-isolation guidance, but should continue to follow nationwide guidance from the Scottish Government. You will also need to adhere to any local restrictions that may affect you. You will also be expected to follow the Stirling Campus Pledge.

Extra self-isolation information and advice for students

The following information is specifically for students. It covers accessing your studies, getting involved with online University activities, support from Student Services, and advice for students in University accommodation. 

Studying while in self-isolation

If you have to self-isolate after your course has started, you can access course materials and resources through our online learning platforms. Learn more about the resources available and how you will be taught.

You can also find helpful information about online welcome events and induction sessions taking place to help you get started at Stirling.

Getting involved with University activities whilst self-isolating

Although you cannot leave your accommodation during self-isolation and will be in your room most of the time, you can still get involved with our online activities.

Get support from Student Services

The Student Services Hub brings lots of services together to help solve problems you might have. You can access a range of services through a single point of contact. This includes Mental Health and Wellbeing, Accessibility and Inclusion, Money Advice and Spiritual Support.

Contact the Student Services Hub:

Self-isolating in University accommodation

Information on what you need to do if you must self-isolate in University accommodation:

Using the kitchen

Only leave your room to use shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. Follow the guidance around cleaning shared areas.

Store your food and kitchen items safely in cupboards and fridges provided – you may wish to keep your plates, cutlery, etc. in your room. Only enter the kitchen to cook your food, when no one else is in it.

Eat in your room and return to the kitchen only to wash up your plates. Dry them with a towel only used by you. You should organise a rota for kitchen access with your flatmates.

Using shared bathrooms

If you use a shared bathroom, clean it each time before and after you use it. Wipe all surfaces you have touched using a strong household disinfectant.

Bed linen and laundry

You will not be able to visit the laundry until the end of your self-isolation period. Keep all dirty laundry until after your isolation. It must be kept in a sealed laundry bag for 72 hours before being removed for washing, once your isolation has ended. We will provide you with an extra set of bed linen. All students will have a duvet, pillow and two sets of bedding provided.

Welcome pack

You will be given a welcome pack with some basic food items to keep you going until you set up an online grocery order.

Access to food

You cannot leave your accommodation, even to buy food. Find out more about how to get food when you are self-isolating.

Internet access

Many essential services you need when self-isolating are accessed online. If you are in university accommodation, you can access the free University wifi network.

If you do not comply with self-isolation measures

Failure to comply with the self-isolation measures mean you could be fined under the Scottish Government’s Health Protection Regulations. If you put others at risk, your accommodation contract could be terminated and you will need to leave University accommodation.

Extra advice for international arrivals

The advice in this section is for international arrivals who will routinely have to self-isolate by default (even without symptoms).

If you are travelling directly from overseas to Scotland you must check the Scottish Government website for the most up-to-date information on travelling to Scotland including a requirement for managed isolation on arrival in a quarantine hotel. Please note, we are currently working closely with the Scottish Government to explore the possibility of the University of Stirling being authorised to host students from red listed countries in our own University accommodation as part of the managed quarantine scheme. This means that on arrival into Edinburgh or Glasgow airports, students would be transported directly to Stirling rather than having to go to a government-managed hotel and you would be fully supported by University staff in our accommodation during your 10-day (11 nights) quarantine period.

If you are a student, you may be asked about your plans in your visa application interview.

For more information about international arrivals and quarantine, read our self-isolation information for international arrivals.