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Preventing coronavirus

Advice on preventing coronavirus.


  • 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • maintain social distancing

Stay at home

It's still very important that people stay home unless necessary to go out for specific reasons set out in law. These include:

  • for work, where you cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine, and to collect goods ordered online or on the phone
  • to exercise or spend time outdoors for recreation
  • any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

Read the government's information on what you can and can’t do.

People who are vulnerable and shielding must continue to do so. They should continue to stay at home.

Face coverings and clothing

New advice from the government says that members of the public should wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and where they might come into contact with people that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops.

This is aimed at preventing people who may have the virus, but are not experiencing symptoms, from passing it on to others.

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 two metre distance from other people wherever possible.

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2, people with respiratory conditions or people who may find it difficult to manage them correctly.

You're also advised to wash your clothing more often as some evidence is showing that the coronavirus can stay on fabrics.

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.