To stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should avoid close contact with anyone you do not live with.
This is called social distancing.
If you live alone or you’re a single parent who lives alone with your children, you can meet with 1 other household without social distancing.
This is called a support bubble.
Find out more about meeting people from outside your household on GOV.UK.
How to avoid spreading the infection
It's very important to do what you can to reduce the risk of you and other people getting ill with coronavirus.
You can spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms.
try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble)
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
wash your hands as soon as you get home
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Read more about staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK.
Wear something that covers your nose and mouth:
- on public transport
- when you go to hospital appointments or visit someone in hospital
If you can, also wear a face covering in other places when it's hard to stay away from people, such as in shops.
Face coverings should not be worn by children under 3 and people who would find wearing them difficult (such as people with breathing difficulties).
To find out who needs to wear a face covering on public transport, see safer travel guidance for passengers on GOV.UK.
Things you can and cannot do
The government has published guidance on what you can and cannot do outside your home.
This includes guidance about when you can leave your home, seeing other people and going to work.
- GOV.UK: full guidance on social distancing
- GOV.UK: common questions about what you can and cannot do during the coronavirus outbreak
There is separate advice:
- if you're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus – see what to do if you're at high risk from coronavirus
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus – see self-isolation and treatment if you have coronavirus symptoms
Looking after your health and wellbeing
To help yourself stay well while you're at home:
- stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
- try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
- do light exercise at home or outside – see NHS fitness studio: exercises you can do at home
- consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day if you're indoors most of the day – this is to keep your bones and muscles healthy
Advice on mental health while you're staying at home:
If you need medical help
It's important to get medical help if you need it, especially if you feel very unwell or think there's something seriously wrong.
- If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus and need medical advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
- If you need to contact a GP, use the GP surgery's website, use an online service or app, or call the surgery.
- For urgent medical help, use the regular NHS 111 online service, or call 111 if you're unable to get help online.
- For life-threatening emergencies call 999 for an ambulance.
If you're advised to go to hospital, it's important to go. Keep going to any appointments you usually have, unless you're told not to.