Social distancing are the steps we can take to limit the spread of COVID-19 by reducing our social interactions. Everyone should take these steps as much as possible and it is particularly important for those people who are at a greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
The higher risk groups are people who;
- Are aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- Are under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- Chronic (long-term) 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), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- Being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- Those who are pregnant
Social distancing measures are
- Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus;
- Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, varying travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible;
- Working from home, where possible;
- Avoiding large gatherings and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs;
- Avoiding gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media;
- Using telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
Self-isolation is for those people who have symptoms of COVID-19 and their household.
Symptoms of COVID 19 are a new persistent cough and/or a temperature.
If you live alone, you should stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms.
If you live with other people, then everyone in your household must stay at home for 14 days.
If another person in the house develops symptoms, they must continue to self-isolate for 7 days from when they first showed symptoms.
Self-isolation means that you must stay at home; you cannot go to work, go to the shops or socialise. You should not have visitors to your home.