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Preventing coronavirus

Advice on preventing coronavirus.

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should:

  • wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
  • keep rooms well ventilated by opening windows throughout the day – particularly through winter when we're spending more time indoors

Watch this video about protecting ourselves from coronavirus to find out more.

There is further advice from the government on social distancing and how to meet others safely. You can also read the government's latest information on what you can and can't do.

You should also:

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • work from home where possible

The NHS website has further advice on how to avoid spreading coronavirus.

Face coverings

There are some places where you must wear a face covering by law. This includes shops, supermarkets and public transport. Find out the latest information about where and when you must wear a face covering. Find out more about the reasons for using face coverings.

Face coverings are not mandatory for:

  • children under the age of 11
  • people who cannot put on or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability

There are more exemptions to wearing a face covering. There is also advice for wearing face coverings at work.

Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing and you should not buy surgical or medical masks but use DIY-type masks, scarves or other coverings. You should still be maintaining a 2 metre distance from other people wherever possible.

Anyone who doesn’t abide by the regulations – and is not exempt under one of the categories set out in the regulations – could face a fine by the police.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough and/or high temperature) you and all members of your household should isolate at home. Wearing a face covering does not mean that you can go out if you have symptoms.

Find out how to make your own face covering. You can get advice from the World Health Organisation on how to correctly wear a face covering.