What is Social Distancing

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).

They are:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance  for more information
  4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  6. 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:

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.