National lockdown: stay at home

Covid‑19 is spreading fast.

Do not leave your home unless necessary.

1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms, so you could be spreading it without knowing it.

Staying safe outside the home (social distancing)

You should minimise time spent outside your home.

It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (for example a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household

Public outdoor places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • playgrounds

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (for example wearing a face covering).

You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops or places of worship where these remain open, and on public transport, unless you are exempt. This is the law. Read guidance on face coverings.

Clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to shield.

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Check the NHS website if you have symptoms 

You only need to get tested if you have symptoms or have been asked to. 

More about physical distancing, self-isolating, symptoms and protecting the most vulnerable

Get the latest government advice on social distancing, self-isolating and protecting the most vulnerable at GOV.UK. 

British Sign Language (BSL)

Public Health England approved information is regularly updated on SignHealth

How to avoid spreading the infection

Find information about how to wash and look after your hands in social care and non-clinical settings. Find resources that can support infection control and management of Covid-19.

How to avoid Skin Irritation

  • Keep yourself well hydrated and keep your skin clean
  • Consider use of moisturisers, to be applied 30 minutes before PPE
  • Consider use of barrier cream
  • Ensure PPE is well fitted and creases are minimised
  • Regularly inspect your skin for signs of soreness
  • Try and have breaks from wearing a mask every 2 hours to reduce
  • moisture build up and facilitate skin recovery
  • Try an alternative mask if available
  • Talk to your manager or a health professional if you experience problems

How to hand wash - hand decontamination soap and water

Remove jewellery like watches and bracelets:

  • Step 1: wet your hands and apply enough liquid soap - 1 to 2 applications - to create a good lather
  • Step 2: rub palms together
  • Step 3: rub the back of hands
  • Step 4: Interlink Your Fingers
  • Step 5: cup your fingers
  • Step 6: clean the thumbs
  • Step 7: rub palms with your fingers
  • Step 8: grip and rub the wrists
  • Step 9: rinse soap off thoroughly
  • Step 10: dry hands and wrists with paper towels and dispose into the bin - use foot pedal

Hand wash video

Watch this video on how to correctly wash your hands.

How to use alcohol hand gel/rub

Must be compliant with BS EN14476 (confirming virocidal activity)

Remove jewellery like watches and bracelets

This guidance is only for visibly clean hands

Step 1: apply enough product to your hands (1 to 2 applications).
Step 2: rub palms together
Step 3: rub the back of hands
Step 4: interlink your fingers
Step 5: cup your fingers
Step 6: clean the thumbs
Step 7: rub palms with your fingers
Step 8: grip and rub the wrists

Decontamination with alcohol hand gel/rub EN14476 compliance for virocidal >60%