Difference between Isolation and Quarantine: Know the Meaning, Similarities & Difference

Isolation and Quarantine: Know here the meaning and difference between isolation and quarantine, the health practices for safeguarding oneself from the infectious Coronavirus. 

Created On: Apr 8, 2020 13:16 IST
Isolation and Quarantine
Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation and Quarantine: The world today is battling the highly infectious disease Coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus is said to be contagious and spreads through the physical contact or droplets of infected patients. Globally, over 13 lakh people have tested positive for the Coronavirus with more than 75000 deaths so far. In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the health experts have advised the people to practice isolation and quarantine.

Isolation and Quarantine have now become the common health practices to safeguard oneself from the infectious Coronavirus. Both the health practices keep the COVID-19 patients away from people who have not been exposed to the virus. Though both the terms may seem similar, there is a bit difference in their meaning as well as implication.

Let's have a look at the meaning of Isolation and Quarantine below and know their difference:

Meaning of Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation is a practice under which people who are sick or infected with contagious disease are kept away from healthy and uninfected people.

Quarantine is a practice that restricts the movement of people who may have come in contact with infected person or may have been exposed to contagious disease, but do not display any symptoms of the illness. The quarantine period reveals whether the individual become sick or not.

Similar Motive of Isolation and Quarantine

The motive behind Isolation and Quarantine is similar. Both the practices are aimed at containing the spread of disease.

Measures imposed under quarantine & isolation



Home confinement

Stay in a separate room

Stay maintaining distance from people (social distancing)

Procedure is majorly followed in hospitals and healthcare facilities

Restrictions on travel

Restrictions on movement inside and outside of an area may be a room

Restrictions on passage outside the quarantine area


Restriction on use of common household things such as drinking glasses, cups, dishes, utensils, clothes, towels, bedding, and others

Wearing a face mask is voluntary

Wearing a face mask is mandatory

Washing hands with soap or hand sanitizers

Washing hands with soap or hand sanitizers

When is Quarantine recommended?

The quarantine is generally suggested under following circumstances:

If a person or a group has been exposed to a highly contagious disease

Resources including the essential goods are available to provide care for quarantined people

Are quarantine & isolation voluntary or enforced?

Both isolation and quarantine are voluntary in nature. However, in case of health emergency like COVID-19, the authorities can enforce the practices to isolate or quarantine people exposed to the illness.

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