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How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (COVID-19)

While there are cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK, there is a risk you can catch it or pass it on. You could still catch or spread it even if you're fully vaccinated or have had the virus before.

How COVID-19 is spread

COVID-19 is spread through close contact with people who have the virus. People with the virus can spread it even if they do not have symptoms.

When someone with the virus breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release small droplets containing the virus.

You can catch COVID-19 if you breathe in these droplets or touch surfaces covered with droplets.

Information:

The risk of catching COVID-19 is highest indoors and in crowded places.

How to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Do

  • get vaccinated against COVID-19 – book vaccination appointments now

  • meet people outside if possible

  • open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside

  • limit the number of people you meet and avoid crowded places

  • wear a face covering when it's hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places

  • wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day

Don’t

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Information:

If you're at high risk from COVID-19

There is some extra advice for people at high risk from COVID-19.

Try to stay at home if you have symptoms

Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and either:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities

Take extra care to avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

You can go back to your normal activities when you feel better or do not have a high temperature.

Find out more about what to do if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19

More advice about staying safe

GOV.UK: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Page last reviewed: 4 October 2022
Next review due: 28 October 2022