Social distancing and self isolation

Staying alert and safe, social distancing

The government has set guidance for how everyone’s actions can reduce the spread of coronavirus in our communities. The guidance explains the measures that will help you to stay safe.

The government has also set out a plan for the response to the next phase of the coronavirus.

Mencap have created an easy read guide to coronavirus which can be downloaded from their website.

Guidance for residents who are vulnerable or shielding

If you’re in a vulnerable group, shielding or over 70 you should continue to take care to minimise contact with people outside of your household.

You can now leave the house to spend time outdoors with 1 person from another household. Ideally this should be with the same person each time. You should still take care to keep 2 metres apart.

You can find local help and support on our web pages or visit GOV.UK to read more frequently asked questions for vulnerable groups, people who are shielding, people who are 70 years old and over and also people who live in care homes.

Guidance for residents who are fit and well

It’s still important that you stay at home as much as possible and only go out for:

  • work, if you cannot work from home
  • going to the shops to get things like food and medicine
  • exercise
  • medical needs such as going to an appointment

As part of the plan:

  • you should try to keep a 2 metre distance from people outside your household
  • you can exercise as much as you want with members of your household or with 1 person from a different household, however you should try to keep a 2 metre distance from each other
  • you can spend unlimited time outdoors for leisure purposes
  • you can meet up to 6 people from different households in outdoor settings such as a park or private garden but you should try to keep a 2 metre distance from each other
  • if possible, wear a face mask covering when you’re in an enclosed space such as at shops or on public transport. You can find more information on how to wear and make a face mask covering on GOV.UK
  • you can return to work only if you cannot work from home. You should avoid public transport if you can and try to walk, cycle or drive instead
  • if you have to use public transport, you must follow social distancing guidance. You can find information on how to travel safely on GOV.UK
  • you cannot use areas like playgrounds and outdoor gyms because there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces
  • you can drive to destinations such as parks and beaches in England with members of your household but you should not travel to different parts of the UK

For more information about staying alert and safe social distancing you can visit GOV.UK.


If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you're the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.

The 14-day period starts from the day the first person in your house became ill.

You and all household members should stay at home.

Do not go to:

  • work
  • school
  • public areas
  • and do not use public transport or taxis

If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. Ask friends or relatives if you need help to:

  • buy groceries or other shopping
  • pick up medication
  • walk a dog