What you can and can’t do

Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives

Sweeping new rules have bee brought in. Everyone is being asked to Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives. The full rules are here.

Here is a summary of the new rules.

We all have vital role to play in controlling the virus, to save lives and to protect our communities and country.

The virus outbreak is now past the peak and the Prime Minister has presented a roadmap to recovery. Yet we must stay alert to control the virus, observe social distancing when outside the home and carry on washing your hands. You should stay at home as much as possible. You should only leave your home to:

Shop for goods

You should still shop as infrequently as possible. Do make use of local shops. More shops can be open – like garden centres and DIY shops. But observe social distancing in all shops at all times.


Exercise alone or with your household or with one other person not from your household. You may now exercise more than once a day and play games like tennis or golf or go fishing. But you should not meet with friends
other than the one person who is not in your household. You should use common sense and observe social distancing at all times.

To travel to work

If you cannot work from home – eg construction and manufacturing – you
should go to work and can travel to work. This also applies to voluntary and charitable work. Employers are required to ensure all workplaces are safe.

To attend medical appointments

To help vulnerable people in line with Government guidance

You may not gather publicly in groups of more than two – except for households.

The police are enforcing these restrictions and fines have been substantially increased.

You must stay alert at all times. Staying alert means thinking about and identifying risky situations. That means avoiding groups, gatherings, vulnerable people and keeping at least 2m away for other people
at all times.

Who is allowed to go to work?

In the first instance, employers should make every effort to support working from home, including by providing suitable IT and equipment as they have been already. This will apply to many different types of businesses, particularly those who typically would have worked in offices or online.

Where work can only be done in the workplace, we have set out tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running. We will be publishing even more detailed COVID-19 secure guidelines in the coming days, which has been developed in consultation with businesses and trades unions.

These ‘back to work’ guidelines apply to those in essential retail like:

  • supermarkets
  • those in construction and manufacturing
  • those working in labs and research facilities
  • those administering takeaways and deliveries at restaurants and cafes
  • tradesmen, cleaners and others who work in people’s homes
  • those who are facilitating trade or transport goods
  • and so on

Non-essential retail, restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres will remain closed. They will reopen in a phased manner provided it is safe to do so.

More information on this is available here.

Does easing restrictions apply to healthy 70 year olds and over?

The advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

If they do go out more frequently, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.

We know that those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or an underlying disease.

But unfortunately, we also know that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus having a more serious impact with infection. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.

Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP, including those 70 and over, should continue to do this until at least the end of June.

What can you do to help?

The single most important thing you can do is follow NHS advice. Wash hands, and self-isolate when you get symptoms – this is vital.

Good hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation are critical in the fight to slow infections – for yourself and for others – particularly those over 70, those with underlying health conditions and those who are pregnant.

When and for how long should you self-isolate?

  • If you have a high temperature or a new continuous cough
  • You must self-isolate for 7 days if you live alone
  • You must all self-isolate for 14 days if you live with others (if someone gets symptoms during isolation all householders must remain symptom free for 7 days even if that means isolating for more than 14 days)

Self-isolation will save lives – it’s important you follow the guidance if you’re affected.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to self-isolate.

If your symptoms worsen during isolation or are no better after 7 days contact the NHS online coronavirus service . If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Why should you self-isolate?

Self-isolation will save lives – and while 90% of people will recover from this virus – some will get seriously ill and it is these people we need to protect.

After seven days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine.

How should I look after myself when I self-isolate?

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat as healthily as you can
  • To reduce pain and fever take paracetamol (if you use other mediation get in touch with your care provider)
  • Keep in contact with friends and family by phone, video and online

Can I get up-to-date news about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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