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How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)


Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.


It is particularly important for people who:


  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system




  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • 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

  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus

  • only travel on public transport if you need to

  • work from home, if you can

  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas

  • avoid events with large groups of people

  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services




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

  • do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family




To avoid spreading infection


If you live alone, do not leave your home for 7 days

Do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started, however mild they are.

If your temperature is still high after 7 days, stay at home until it’s back to normal.


If you live with other people, keep everyone at home for 14 days

The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the spread of infection to others in the community.


Vulnerable people

If you can, move any vulnerable people (the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, for the whole isolation period.

If you cannot do this, stay away from vulnerable people as much as possible.




How coronavirus is spread


Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.


It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.