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Coronavirus: What are social distancing and self-isolation? Coronavirus: What are social distancing and self-isolation?
(1 day later)
The UK government has taken further action to limit the spread of coronavirus. Strict rules have been placed on people's personal movement to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Shops selling non-essential items have closed, along with libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship. Under the restrictions, people must stay at home and only leave for the following reasons:
Weddings and baptisms are banned but funerals are still allowed. The government has also said that key workers may take their children to school and that children may move between the homes of separated parents.
Gatherings of more than two people not from the same household are banned. Shops selling non-essential items are closed, along with cafes, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, libraries, places of worship, gyms and leisure centres.
People are only to do one form of outdoor exercise a day on their own or with a member of their household. Some outdoor spaces, including playgrounds, outdoor gyms and some parks are also closed.
The other acceptable reasons to leave the house are: Gatherings of more than two people not from the same household are banned. Weddings and baptisms are banned but funerals are still allowed.
The government has also said that key workers may leave the house to take their children to school and that children may move between the homes of separated parents. The restrictions were introduced on 23 March, initially for three weeks, but it's thought they're likely to be extended.
What should I be doing?What should I be doing?
If people have to go outside - to buy food for example - they must stay more than 2m (6.5ft) apart from others. If you have to go outside - to buy food for example - you must stay more than 2m (6.5ft) apart from others.
Cafes, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been told to close. The move is part of social distancing measures to minimise non-essential contact. This is what's known as social distancing. Its purpose is to cut down non-essential contact and stop the spread of the virus.
People with flu-like symptoms - such as a dry cough and high temperature - have been asked to self-isolate at home to avoid infecting others.
Why is social distancing necessary?Why is social distancing necessary?
Social distancing is important because coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air.Social distancing is important because coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air.
These can be breathed in, or can cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, and then touch your face with unwashed hands.These can be breathed in, or can cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, and then touch your face with unwashed hands.
The less time people spend together, the less chance there is of this happening.The less time people spend together, the less chance there is of this happening.
What is self-isolation?What is self-isolation?
Self-isolating means staying at home and not leaving it, other than for exercise. Don't go to work, school or public areas during this time. If you show symptoms of coronavirus - such as a dry cough and high temperature - you must take extra precautions.
You should stay at home and if possible, not leave it for any reason, other than to exercise (staying a safe distance from others).
This is known as self-isolation.
If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. If you are unable to get supplies delivered, you should do what you can to limit social contact when you do leave the house.If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. If you are unable to get supplies delivered, you should do what you can to limit social contact when you do leave the house.
Who should self-isolate?Who should self-isolate?
Everyone who shows coronavirus symptoms - a fever of above 37.8C, a persistent cough or breathing problem - and everyone who lives in the same house or flat as someone with symptoms. Everyone who shows coronavirus symptoms - a fever of above 37.8C, a persistent cough or breathing problems - and everyone who lives in the same house or flat as someone with symptoms.
The person with the symptoms should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened, and keep away from other people in the home.The person with the symptoms should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened, and keep away from other people in the home.
People are being advised not to ring NHS 111 or their GP to report their symptoms unless they are worried.People are being advised not to ring NHS 111 or their GP to report their symptoms unless they are worried.
Who shouldn't go out at all?Who shouldn't go out at all?
About 1.5 million people with very serious health conditions are being contacted by the NHS and urged not go out at all for at least 12 weeks. This is being referred to as shielding. About 1.5 million people with very serious health conditions are being contacted by the NHS and urged not go out at all for at least 12 weeks.
This is what's known as shielding.
Others in the same household, and carers, can go out as long they observe proper social distancing.Others in the same household, and carers, can go out as long they observe proper social distancing.
The most vulnerable group includes:The most vulnerable group includes:
The government says it will work with local authorities, supermarkets and the armed forces to ensure they get supplies of essential food and medicines.The government says it will work with local authorities, supermarkets and the armed forces to ensure they get supplies of essential food and medicines.
What happens if you have a vulnerable person living with you during self-isolation?What happens if you have a vulnerable person living with you during self-isolation?
You should keep at least 2m away from a vulnerable person (such as pregnant women, the elderly or those with an underlying health condition) during any period of isolation, according to Public Health England.You should keep at least 2m away from a vulnerable person (such as pregnant women, the elderly or those with an underlying health condition) during any period of isolation, according to Public Health England.
Limit time spent together in shared spaces such as kitchens, and keep all rooms well-ventilated. If they can, the vulnerable person should take their meals back to their room to eat.Limit time spent together in shared spaces such as kitchens, and keep all rooms well-ventilated. If they can, the vulnerable person should take their meals back to their room to eat.
A vulnerable person should use separate towels from the rest of the household. If possible, they should use a separate bathroom. If that is not possible, the bathroom should be cleaned every time it's used (for example, wiping surfaces with which you have come into contact).A vulnerable person should use separate towels from the rest of the household. If possible, they should use a separate bathroom. If that is not possible, the bathroom should be cleaned every time it's used (for example, wiping surfaces with which you have come into contact).
People living with someone in isolation should wash their hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds - especially after coming into contact with them.People living with someone in isolation should wash their hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds - especially after coming into contact with them.
Personal waste (such as tissues) should be double-bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being put in your outside bin.Personal waste (such as tissues) should be double-bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being put in your outside bin.
What about other countries?
Other countries have also been taking steps to limit the spread of the virus: