Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. This is called social distancing.

This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

You can only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

Handwashing and hygiene

  • wash 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 - if you have not washed your hands properly
  • avoid close contact with people - especially those who have symptoms or if you do not live with them
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue - dispose of used tissues in a bin and wash your hands
  • clean and disinfect frequently - especially objects and surfaces that are touched frequently (like door handles and light switches)

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

Continue to stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

You can read the full guidance below:

Government guidance

NHS guidance

What to do if you need medical help for another reason

If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

  • For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.
  • For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.
  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.

Read more advice about getting medical help at home.