- HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
- FACE – 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.
- SPACE – 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).
1. Protecting different groups of people
This guidance is for the general public who are fit and well. There is separate, specific guidance on isolation for households with a possible coronavirus infection.
2. Meeting family and friends
The rules on social contact changed on Monday 14 September: you must not meet in groups of more than 6 when meeting with people outside of your household.
3. Returning to school and university
The government has prioritised ensuring all children can attend school safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents. You can find out more about the government’s approach to education and how schools have prepared.
4. Businesses and venues
All businesses and venues should follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
5. Visiting public places
You can spend time outdoors, including for exercise, as often as you wish. At all times, you should follow the guidance on group sizes, meeting in groups of no more than 6 unless there is an exception set out in law. You can find out more in the guidance on meeting safely with others.
Face coverings must be worn on public transport and in many indoor spaces, including shops, shopping centres, indoor transport hubs, museums, galleries, cinemas and public libraries.
6. Going to work
In order to keep the virus under control, it is important that people work safely. It is at the discretion of employers as to how staff can continue working safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely, and must ensure workplaces are safe if they are asking you to return, as above. Those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable can go to work as long as the workplace is COVID-19 Secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible.
7. Clinically vulnerable people
If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. If you are clinically vulnerable you:
- can go outside as much as you like but you can still try to keep your overall social interactions low
- can visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops, whilst keeping 2 metres away from others wherever possible or 1 metre plus other precautions
- should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and that you maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
- a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- pregnant women
There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. See guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.