Guide to social distancing

"If people go within two metres of others who they don't live with, then they're helping to spread the virus - and the consequences of that costs lives and it means that, for everyone, this will go on for longer." Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health

If you can't stay in your home and you're getting exercise by walking locally, queuing for a supermarket or doing something else that is permitted within the below instructions keep at least 6 feet, (2 metres), away from the next person - which is about the same distance as you holding a broom with a straightened arm. By keeping this distance you reduce your risk of getting infected, and reduce your risk of infecting others. 

The Prime Minister announced the following statement at 8.30pm the 23rd March:

"From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction - you must stay at home. Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households. That is why people will only be allowed to leave their homes for the following very limited purposes:

  • For basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, a walk or a cycle alone or with members of your household;
  • Any form of medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and can not be done at home.

That’s all. These are the only reasons you should leave your home.

You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, say no.

Every one of us must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

This government guide provides the latest information about social distancing, with particular advice, including about self-isolation, for those who are at increased risk of severe illness - for example people over 70 years of age, those who are pregnant and those with certain underlying health conditions.