Difference between Quarantine Isolation

As the number of cases to rise across the world continues of Coronavirus, it is very important for us to understand the different words associated with it as it could mean the difference between life and death in future.

Most of the people are using the terms isolation, quarantine, lockdown, Curfew and social distancing interchangeably when it comes to the Coronavirus pandemic. But what are the meaning of these words different with each other.

What is the difference between Quarantine, Isolation, Lockdown, Curfew, and Social Distancing

But do you know the difference between curfew, Quarantine, Isolation, Social Distancing and lockdown? Quarantine is for COVID-19 positive people and they need to be kept strictly away from other people. A lockdown stops the movement of people, while social distancing is a practice of lessening physical interaction with each other people.

Social distancing

Social distancing is a practice of lessening physical interaction with other people. Health advisories direct to maintain at least a gap of 6 feet between people.

Social distancing can include the following:

  • Reducing social interactions as much as possible
  • Not interacting in any groups
  • Not going to concerts, sports events and religious occasions
  • Cancelling all group gatherings
  • Closing offices and working from home
  • Shutting schools and choosing online classes or homeschooling
  • Having virtual meetings whenever possible
  • Ensuring 6-feet gap when going out to buy groceries or for a walk
  • Opting for a namaste instead of a handshake


Quarantine is much for serious than social-distancing. Quarantine is for people who tested positive for Covid-19 and they need to be kept strictly away from other people.

Quarantine can include the following:

  • Staying strictly at home unless there is a medical emergency
  • Strictly keeping away from public spaces and public transport
  • Monitoring daily for Covid-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever and cough
  • Washing hands with soap and water regularly
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces at home
  • Getting all necessities delivered at home and not stepping out


Isolation is usually advised for those who have been diagnosed positively for Coronavirus Covid-19. It is the most extreme degree of separation.

Isolation can include the following:

  • Living in a separate area or medical centre
  • Wearing a face mask around others
  • Not contacting anyone physically
  • Getting all necessities delivered
  • Use separate utensils from others
  • Have all surroundings regularly cleaned
  • Cleaning hands with soap and water often


A lockdown stops the movement of people and cuts down on the Covid-19 spread. This doesn’t happen by the choice of the people.

A lockdown can include the following:

  • Shutting down railways, flights and public transport
  • Shutting down restaurants and movie theatres
  • Monitoring the movement of people to track Coronavirus spread


It usually refers to a directive from the government to keep people off the streets for a few pre-decided hours.

A curfew can include the following:

  • Strict measures from the government to keep people indoors
  • Fines and arrests when the rules are violated

Also See: Coronavirus test centres in India: All you need to know


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