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What you can do to protect yourself and others against COVID-19

the guide to protecting yourself and the community during the coronavirus outbreak
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself against the possibility of contracting COVID-19.

With more than 8,000 confirmed cases in the UK the severity of the pandemic is growing. This had lead Boris Johnson to announce a four-step action plan.

If you do contract the virus, there are actions you can take to prevent the spread of the virus from yourself onto others.

How to avoid catching COVID-19

One of the simplest ways on paper to avoid catching COVID-19 is to spend as little time with people and as little time outside as possible.

However, this isn’t an easy thing to put into practice for a lot of people who go out to work and like to socialise with their friends.

You should take the option to work from home if possible and avoid large social gatherings with your friends in public places where the virus can spread.

Another way to avoid the virus is to stay in the UK and not travel to other countries where there is a virus outbreak.

Precautions

If someone you come into contact with regularly is unwell, you should try to avoid them if possible. If you can’t avoid them, whether you live with them or work closely with them, you should keep your hands clean and surfaces clean.

You should wash your hands in soap and hot water for at least twenty seconds regularly each day and spray surfaces with disinfectant.

If you do not have soap or are on the move, our hand sanitiser can kill 99.99% of coronaviruses.

You should avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes with your hands if they have not been recently washed to lower the potential risk of you developing COVID-19.

How to stop the spread of COVID-19

The preventive measures above aren’t a guarantee that you won’t contract the illness even if you follow all of the guidelines.

If you are coughing but are not sure if you have the illness or not, or displaying symptoms you should cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of it straight away and then wash your hands.

Failing that, you should cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hands. This is good advice for protection against germs anyway but it is particularly relevant for stopping the spread of COVID-19.

While staying inside as much as possible is an optional preventive measure, staying inside is a necessity to stop the spread of COVID-19 if you have it.

If you have COVID-19 or suspect there is a chance you may have it (whether you have symptoms or have returned from an area where the virus is prevalent), you should self-isolate for fourteen days. View early signs and symptoms here.

If you suspect you have the virus

You should speak with your employers and/or a health professional. Especially as there is no current cure.

The advice from the NHS is to self-isolate for 14 days, however, if your condition worsens visit the 111 coronavirus service. If you are having any difficulty breathing call 111, or in the case of any life-threatening emergencies call 999.

In this time, you should ask friends and family to go out shopping for you or bring food to you while avoiding physical contact with them or things they may later come into contact with.

In the case of a fever or a new continuous dry cough, the NHS suggests that you should self-isolate for at least seven days to see if the symptoms intensify.

Self-isolation is necessary either to rule out that you have the virus or to allow you to recover from the virus without infecting more people in the process.

If you have the illness, wearing a face mask can help to prevent the further spread of the virus from you onto others.

These steps are some of the main pieces of advice given by the CDC to those who are sick or who may be sick. For more coronavirus FAQs click here.