Support for those self isolating


Why is self-isolating so important?

Self-isolation is about protecting others and slowing the spread of COVID-19. It is the most effective way of preventing the virus from spreading.

You will only be asked to self-isolate because you have either:

  1. Tested positive for COVID-19 or;
  2. Been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

The reason you are asked to self-isolate is because it reduces the chance of passing the virus on to others.

It is now a legal requirement for you to stay at home if you are told to do so. You will need to remain in self-isolation for 10 full days from the day after you tested positive, or starting after the day you were last in contact with the infected person.

Self-isolation means that during this period you should not leave your home for any reason, have any visitors inside your home and you will need to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible.

We can offer various types of support to self-isolate, including financial assistance to some residents who are eligible, and help to access food for those who need it.

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Isolation support grant Click to get info

You might be able to get £500 from the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if:

  • You have been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and you will lose income if you cannot work from home
  • You are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate and you will lose income because you need to take time off to look after them

See eligibility criteria and apply


Food Click to get info

Accessing supermarkets from home

Tesco and Iceland

The Council can help self-isolating residents to access to access priority delivery slots at Tesco and Iceland in order to shop directly from these supermarkets. For assistance in setting up an online account with Tesco or Iceland, call our Resolution Centre or complete this online form.

After completing the form, one of our Customer Service Agents will get in contact directly to confirm eligibility and create an account on your behalf.

Morrisons (free doorstep delivery)

You can place a food order directly with Morrisons by phoning 0345 611 6111 and selecting option 5. This is a service where payment for food is taken by card once the food is delivered. This means that residents must set up an online account. The delivery is provided free of charge.


If you are trying to shop with Sainsbury’s but are unable to place an order online, call them directly on 0800 917 8557 to access their telephone ordering service.

Age UK Waltham Forest shopping service

In addition to the befriending support they are currently offering, Age UK Waltham Forest are offering a food shopping service for residents aged 60+ who are in isolation and unable to rely on family, trusted friends or neighbours for adequate support.

Call 0208 558 5512 or where they will assess your eligibility, help you with your shopping list and order and deliver a maximum of 15 food items to your door. Depending on the level of demand, Age UK will prioritise residents most in need.

Social distancing will be maintained during the delivery process. Money will not be physically exchanged, but Age UK will call you to pay over the phone. If you cannot pay by card over the phone or bank transfer, they will try to make alternative arrangements.

Access a local food bank

If you are unable to pay for food, our Resolution Centre can help to connect you with a local food bank.

Prescriptions and more Click to get info

The NHS Volunteer Responder service connects vulnerable/self-isolating residents with volunteers nearby who can help with shopping as well as friendly ‘check-in’ chats on the phone and prescription collections in instances where local pharmacies are not delivering to your door. To ask for help, call 0808 196 3646. 

When you call and make a request, the call centre will check you are eligible and then contact a volunteer in your area who is available to help.  There is no need to ‘book’ this in advance, you should make the request on the day you need the help.

Library: access thousands of free magazines, newspapers and audiobooks

Waltham Forest Council offer library services online, meaning that you can access digital library resources from your own home. This includes newspapers, magazines, eBooks and audiobooks.

We are also running a book delivery service during the pandemic.

Find out more about library services and join for free

Eating healthily and affordably

Healthy eating ideas:

Eating affordably:

Exercise and keeping fit

Exercises for adults:

Exercises for children:

Keeping your mind active

Things to do

Staying at home can be frustrating and difficult, so taking care of your mental wellbeing is just as important and your physical health.

If you have COVID-19, the information below may help stop the spread to others you live with:

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Spend as little time as possible in shared areas, and avoid using shared living areas when other people are there. Meals can be eaten in your room. Use a face covering when you are in shared indoor areas to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
  • Socially distance from others in your household
  • Keep indoor areas, especially those that are shared, well ventilated e.g. by opening windows and doors.
  • If it is possible, use a bathroom that is for your own use only. If that is not possible, try to use the bathroom last, and make sure the bathroom is cleaned after you use it (using usual cleaning products).
  • Use separate household items like towels (including hand towels and tea towels), bedding, toothbrushes, cups and dishes. 
  • If anyone in the household is clinically extremely vulnerable, support them to reduce the contact with other people in the household (even if other household members do not have symptoms).
  • If there are pets in the household, limit contact with them and wash your hands before and after. 

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection (