Government urges social distancing measures

The Government has issued new advice to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This group includes those who are aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions), those under 70 with an underlying health condition (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds) and anyone who is pregnant.

Social distancing measures are the steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible;
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this.
  4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, the Government strongly advises people to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • washing your hands more often - with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

These are the key point from the Government’s latest coronavirus guidelines – more detail is available if you visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-…