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.

Restrictions

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, you should follow government guidance about what you can and cannot do.

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 COVID-19.

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
  • let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible

Don’t

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

Face coverings

If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people.

There are some places where you must wear a face covering, such as:

  • on public transport
  • in shops
  • when you go to hospital appointments or visit someone in hospital

Important

Some people should not wear face coverings, such as children under 3 and people with breathing difficulties.

Looking after your health and wellbeing

To help yourself stay well:

  • get plenty of exercise
  • 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
  • try to quit smoking – smoking can make you more likely to get infections like COVID-19 and become seriously ill
  • eat a healthy balanced diet

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 COVID-19 and need medical advice, call your local emergency service or your doctor
  • 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, call your local emergency service if you’re unable to get help online.
  • For life-threatening emergencies call 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.