Coronavirus: How to dispose of your waste if you have symptoms

Government issues strict rules on waste disposal for those with symptoms and/or in self-isolation

Olivia Petter
Monday 20 April 2020 07:45 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Boris Johnson has told the public they should now only leave the house for several key reasons.

These include travelling to work as a key worker, shopping for food or taking one form of exercise per day.

Meanwhile, those with underlying health conditions should be self-isolating at home for a period of 12 weeks and people who have just returned from travelling have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days so as to prevent spreading the illness.

But what does all of this mean for waste disposal?

The government has issued special guidance to those who are in self-isolation and/or have symptoms of COVID-19.

These symptoms include a new and continuous cough or a high temperature (37.8C or higher).

If you have these symptoms you no longer need to call 111 or have a test for coronavirus but should stay at home and self-isolate for at least 7 days.

During this time you will need to dispose of your waste safely and securely to ensure you minimise the risk of passing your virus on to someone else in your household or elsewhere.

Why do I need to dispose of my waste differently if I am self-isolating or have symptoms?

The government has urged those self-isolating or with COVID-19 symptoms to take extra care when disposing of their waste to avoid passing the illness onto others in their household and beyond.

While bin collection services might have been suspended or reduced in your area, it is likely someone will come into contact with your waste to remove it at some stage and that person could be at risk of catching COVID-19 if you have not disposed of your waste properly.

What kind of waste do I need to dispose of differently?

The government states that personal waste, such as used tissues, face masks, and disposable cleaning cloths, are the things that need to be disposed of securely.

How should I dispose of it?

You must dispose of these items into a rubbish bag and then place that bag into a second rubbish bag, tie it securely and then keep it separate from all other waste.

This bag should then be put aside for at least 72 hours before it is placed inside your regular household waste bin.

All other household waste can be disposed of normally.

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