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Social distancing

Social distancing is a range of measures that we should all be taking in order to help to delay the spread of viruses including coronavirus. Social distancing isn't a new idea. The measures are well-established, planned for many years and part of the government’s preparations for a flu pandemic.

Stay at home

It is still very important that people stay at home unless necessary. You should only be leaving your house to go out for specific reasons set out in law.

The governments new stay alert, social distancing guidance includes a list of the reasons that you can leave your home. It also includes information on:

  • protecting different groups of people
  • staying at home
  • businesses and venues
  • visiting public places
  • public gatherings
  • going to work
  • enforcing the law
  • clinically vulnerable people
  • communicating with the public

There's also new advice on staying safe outside your home.

We are advising people who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This group includes:

  • people aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • people who are pregnant
  • people aged under 70 with an underlying health condition

Going to work

The current advice is to work from home where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Read the government's guidance for employees, employers and businesses.


Avoid non-essential use of public transport and try to vary your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible

The government is encouraging those able to walk or cycle to work, to think about doing this more frequently.

It is now mandatory to wear a face covering on all forms of public transport.