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Social distancing: what you need to do

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.

Information:

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.

Do

  • 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

Don't

  • 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.

Face coverings

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.

Important

There is separate advice:

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

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'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.

Read about using the NHS and other health services during coronavirus.

Information:

Get help and support

If you're at a higher risk from coronavirus, you can get help from an NHS volunteer with things like getting food, medicines and other things you need.

Call 0808 196 3646 (open 8am to 8pm) to get help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Page last reviewed: 10 July 2020
Next review due: 17 July 2020