Public health advice
On 23 March 2020, the government outlined strict new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people.
Stay at home. Protect our NHS. Save lives.
Stay at home
You must stay at home, only leaving for the following very limited purposes:
- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible.
- One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of your immediate household.
- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Protect the NHS
You must stay at home to protect the NHS.
- The NHS only has a limited number of doctors, nurses and specialist equipment.
- They are working around the clock to increase NHS capacity.
- The more people who get sick, the harder it is for the NHS to cope.
- We must slow the spread of the disease so that fewer people are sick at any one time.
You must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
- Police will disperse gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding people you live with.
- Police will issue fines to anyone who does not comply with these rules.
- Police will close all shops that are not essential, as well as playgrounds and places of worship.
Get further advice at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
What to do if you have symptoms
Continue to stay and home and don't go out at all.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
How effective are hand gels?
The best method for cleaning hands is using soap and warm, running water. Alcohol hand gels that are at least 60% alcohol are a good substitute for handwashing but only where hands are visibly clean.
How useful are face masks?
Face masks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals but there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings. Face masks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly and disposed of safely in order to be effective.
The best way to protect ourselves from infections like coronavirus is to wash our hands frequently with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel that is at least 60% alcohol, as well as always carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, then putting the tissue in a bin.
How long does the virus survive outside of the human body and on surfaces like glass, metal and plastic?
Because it's a new illness, we do not fully know how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets. These droplets fall on people in the vicinity and can be directly inhaled or picked up on the hands and transferred when someone touches their face.
How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors; for example:
- what surface the virus is on
- whether it is exposed to sunlight
- differences in temperature and humidity
- exposure to cleaning products
Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours.
Also see Coronavirus homepage
Page owner: Vanessa de Chazal. Last updated: 26/03/2020 18:05