The Government has announced that patients who are unable to work for more than seven days because of the Coronavirus will be able to obtain an isolation note online without the need to contact their GP.

Proof of absence from work for those who are advised to self-isolate because they have symptoms of Coronavirus or live with someone who does, will be provided with proof from the service announced by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The DHSC said that this service has been set up to "reduce the pressure" on GP practices and prevent people from needing to leave their homes.

But it is also clear that employees can "self-certify" and do not need any evidence for their employer for the first seven days off work.

The DHSC confirmed that an isolation note will be emailed to the user, a "trusted family member or friend" or directly to their employer after they have answered some questions.

The department added that an isolation note or fit note will not be needed for those who need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance due to Coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was vital that everything is done to ease the burden on healthcare professionals, allowing them to spend as much time as possible with those patients that need them most.

He added: "Digital isolation notes will provide reassurance to those self-isolating and their employers while also reducing the pressure on our NHS, so they can continue doing all they can to protect the people of this country and save lives."

The service can be accessed through NHS 111 online, the NHS website and the NHS app.

Last reviewed 24 March 2020