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Page update at 10:00 3rd April 2020

How to prevent infection with
coronavirus (COVID-19)

The best way to prevent infection and the spread of coronavirus is by staying at home.

Stay-at-home guidance

As of the 23rd of March 2020, everyone must stay at home. You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

    These 4 reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

    Other things you can do

    The following steps also help to prevent the infection from spreading:

    • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. If soap and water is not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand gel
    • When coughing or sneezing, do so either into a tissue or into the crease of your elbow. Dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands afterwards
    • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
    • Stay away from people who are unwell
    • Stay at home if you are feeling unwell

      How to wash your hands

      Watch the video

      Self-isolation - what is it and why is it important?

      Self-isolation is crucial in preventing the spread of coronavirus to others. Find out more about what it really means, how to self-isolate and helpful tips on how to cope when you’re stuck indoors.

      How to self-isolate

      Should I wear a face mask?

      Facemasks are not recommended for use by the general public. There is little evidence that they help to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community. Facemasks should only be worn by healthcare professionals or if recommended by a healthcare professional.

      Watch our video guides



      • How to wash your hands


      • How to use hand sanitizer


      • Why it's important to wash your hands