Detailed guidance about social distancing for everyone
This guidance is for everyone. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living at home, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
- Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.
Those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
This group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease , motor neurone disease , multiple sclerosis (MS) , a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS , or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
In order to further reduce social contact, from the close of trading today (20th March), the Government is telling the following businesses across the UK close:
• Food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes.
• Drinking establishments, including pubs, bars and nightclubs.
• Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls and bingo halls.
• Museums and galleries.
• Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours.
• Casinos and betting shops.
• All indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms.
Takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational. We will change planning regulations so that restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not current offer delivery and hot food take away are able to do so. These measures will be in place for a period of 14 days, and then reviewed on a monthly basis to consider their effectiveness and compliance in light of changing circumstances. I know the economic impact of this will be significant. To reduce it, the Chancellor has introduced a series of substantial measures to support the economy and businesses through this challenging time. Further information can be found https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
This Government guide provides the latest advice about social distancing.