The latest Government advice on stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to stay home. Anyone can spread the virus.

Latest information: Updated 24 March 2020

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

It is imperative that we all follow the government’s social distancing guidance to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19 and protect the NHS.

On Monday 23 March 2020, the government introduced three new measures to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people.

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Full guidance on staying home and away from others

Advice from Public Health England (PHE)

  1. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
  1. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
  1. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

What to do if you feel unwell

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, the advice is to stay at home and do not leave your house for seven days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days. All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

For more information about the COVID-19 virus, its symptoms and current advice please visit the government’s website.