How can I get assistance with foods and medicines if I’m reducing social contact?
You should ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services.
If this isn’t possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. It’s important to speak to others and ask them to help you to make arrangements for:
- essential services and supplies
- looking after your physical health, mental health and wellbeing
If you receive support from health and social care organisations, such as care support through your local authority, this will continue as normal.
Your health or social care provider will be asked to take additional precautions to make sure that you’re protected.
What should I do if I have hospital and GP appointments during this period?
You should access medical assistance remotely (not face-to-face), wherever possible.
If you have a scheduled hospital or medical appointment during this time, talk to your GP or clinician to ensure you continue to receive the care you need. Consider whether appointments can be postponed.
What is the advice for visitors, including those who are providing care for me?
Only people providing essential care should be allowed to visit your home. Essential care includes washing, dressing or preparing meals.
If you receive regular health or social care from an organisation, either through your local authority or paid for by yourself, make sure they know you have a condition that makes you more vulnerable to severe illness with coronavirus. This will help you agree a plan for continuing your care.
If you receive essential care from friends or family members, these carers can continue to visit.
It’s also a good idea to speak to your carers about what happens if one of them becomes unwell. If you need help with care but you’re not sure who to contact, your local council should be able to help you.
What is the advice if I live with a vulnerable person?
If you live in a house with a vulnerable person, the whole household must be very strict about:
How do I look after my wellbeing?
You may find your mood and feelings are affected by physical distancing. You may feel bored, frustrated low or worried and have problems sleeping.
It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse.
There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time, such as:
- exercise regularly - look for ideas of exercises you can do at home
- spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to/watching favourite radio or TV programmes
- eating healthy, well-balanced meals
- drinking enough water
- trying to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
- keeping your windows open to let in fresh air
- getting some natural sunlight if you can or go outside into the garden
- taking vitamin D if you’re not getting enough natural sunlight
- walking, running or cycling outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres (6 feet) away from others
What steps can I take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?
Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online.
Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing. You may find it helpful to talk to them about how you’re feeling.
It’s okay to share your concerns with others you trust. You may end up providing support to them too.
What’s the advice for informal carers?
If you’re caring for someone who’s vulnerable, there are some simple steps that you can take to protect them, including:
- washing your hands on arrival and often - use soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
- covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- putting used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands
- providing information on who they should call if they feel unwell (their GP phone number and 111) and how to use NHS inform
- accessing advice on creating a contingency plan from Carers UK
- finding out about different sources of support that could be used
- looking after your own well-being and physical health
Don’t visit if you’re unwell. Make alternative arrangements for their care.
Can I car share to get to work?
You should only undertake essential travel if you’re not showing coronavirus symptoms and no-one in your household is self-isolating. You can only travel for work purposes if you can’t work from home.
You can use public transport (buses, trams, subways or trains) and private/commercial vehicles to travel to essential work, staying 2 meters apart whenever possible.
If people from different households need to share a private vehicle (car, taxi, minibus or lorry) for essential work, they should consider how to follow physical distancing measures. For example, in a car you can limit the number of passengers and space out as much as possible.
Household members can travel together in larger numbers in a private vehicle for essential purposes.
People who’re in the higher risk category should carefully consider how to rigorously follow physical distancing measures.
People who’re shielding shouldn’t be travelling outside the home other than for very limited reasons such as essential health care.
General infection prevention and control measures should be followed:
- Wash your hands before and after journey
- Catch coughs and sneezes in tissues or cover mouth and nose with sleeve or elbow (not hands), dispose of the tissue into a bin and wash hands immediately.
- Practice physical distancing as much as possible
- Avoid busier times of travel on public transport to ensure you can practise physical distancing
- Clean vehicles between different drivers or passengers