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Social distancing, self-isolation and shielding

沙巴体育appSocial distancing, self-isolation and shielding are aimed at reducing close contact with others, however, there are some important differences. Here's what they might mean for you. 

沙巴体育app Due to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Leicester, the government have announced that there will be changes in guidance for Leicester and some surrounding areas. For more information on the areas affected see your local government information.


What should I be doing?

This table explains what these terms mean and what you should do. There's more detailed information about each of these terms below.

  What does it mean? Who has to do it?
Social distancing

It means only going outside for the reasons defined by the Government and taking precautions to stay safe and help stop the spread of coronavirus, such as staying 2 metres away from anyone outside of your household or support bubble.

Everyone should be doing it. If you're over 70 or have existing health conditions you may want to take extra precautions, such as seeing if friends or family can pick up food for you or visiting outside spaces at times when they are less busy.

Self-isolation

沙巴体育appIt's avoiding contact with others (even those you live with) and not leaving your home for any reason.

Anyone with a potential or confirmed case of coronavirus.

Shielding

It means staying inside as much as possible and avoiding contact with others. Previously people who were shielding were advised to stay at home at all times but advice has now been updated so that you are able to visit outside spaces. The Government have announced further information on how shielding guidance will change from 6 July and eventually paused by 1 August.

Anyone who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable due to particular health conditions. 

If need urgent medical help, whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, you should contact 111.

In an emergency, or if you are in immediate danger, call 999. 沙巴体育appIf you are unable to speak, press 55 on a mobile.


Social distancing

沙巴体育appThis means people who are not clinically extremelyvulnerable should only leave the house for limited purposes. From 15 June these are: 

  1. For leisure purposes in outdoor spaces. You may spend as much time as you like in outdoor, open spaces, but should stay 2 metres away from anyone who is not part of your household. You can meet outdoors with up to 5 people from outside your household including in private gardens. . You should not go inside anyone else’s house unless you are accessing their garden or using the toilet. 
  2. To go to shops or to outdoor attractions, such as zoos and safari parks, which are now able to be open. You are also able to visit places of worship for private prayer.
  3. Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. 
  4. Travelling to and from work, but only where this cannot be done from home. Avoid public transport if possible. 

Single-adult households in England can join up with one other household to create a support bubble. This applies to both people living alone and single parents with children under the age of 18 at home. Find out more by visiting our page on support bubbles.

Please be advised that those who have been identified as extremely clinically vulnerable should not form a support bubble.

沙巴体育appFor these activities you should continue to observe the advice to stay at least 2 metres apart from others (excluding members of your own household or those you are in a social bubble with). 

If you are aged 70 or over, pregnant, or have a long-term condition, you are more at risk, so you may want to think about asking someone to pick up medication and food for you where possible  and limiting the time you spend outside.  

 


Self-isolation

People with a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus will need to self-isolate. This means that you should not leave the house at all. Do not go out to work, exercise, or to collect essentials. 

You will need to self-isolate if you:

  • develop symptoms of coronavirus and are waiting for a test
  • have tested positive for coronavirus
  • live in a household or are part of a support bubble where somebody has a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus
  • have been contacted by the test and trace service and told you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus.

There's more information on what to do in each of these situations below. 

What do I do if I live in a shared space?

If you live with others and develop symptoms of coronavirus there are some precautions to take:

  • If you live with someone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable, see if you can arrange for them to move in with friends or family. Stay physically apart from other people as much as possible. Sleep in separate rooms and use different bathrooms if you can, and minimise the amount of time you spend in shared spaces such as the kitchen. Try and stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) apart.
  • Regularly disinfecting frequently used surfaces such as kitchen counters and bathrooms.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Make sure to sneeze or cough into tissues, your elbow or sleeve. Dispose of tissues straight afterwards.
  • Don’t share food or use the same towels or crockery. Make sure anything has been washed thoroughly before it’s used by someone else.

Shielding

沙巴体育appPeople who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus have been given separate guidance.

Previously the guidance was to not leave the house at all. However, people who are shielding are now able to spend some time outside. You can go to open spaces outside with members of your household or, if you live alone, with one person from a different household. If you are meeting up with someone outside of your household, you can reduce the risk by meeting up with the same person each time.

If you decide to spend some time outside there are steps, you can take to help protect yourself:

  • When you are outside you should stay at least 2 metres away from others. You should wash your hands with soap and warm water when you return to your home and try not to touch your face or eyes while you are out.
  • Do not share personal belongings with others, for example cups or cutlery.
  • Try to visit areas that you know are less busy or go at times when there will be fewer people around, for example in the mornings and during the week rather than at weekends.
  • Try to limit the amount of time you spend outside, for example by only going out once a day.

Although you can now go outside, you should not spend time in any buildings or covered areas other than your home, such as shops. Only essential visitors, such as carers or NHS staff, should be coming into your home.

沙巴体育appThe Government have announced that advice for people who are shielding will be changing in stages. Everyone on the shielding list will be written to outlining the changes in guidance. Changes to the guidance are being based on scientific evidence about the level of risk from coronavirus.

From 6 July those who are shielding will be able to meet up to 5 other people from different households in outdoor spaces while maintaining strict social distancing measures. Also, if you or another household live alone or with dependent children under 18 you will be able to form a support bubble. The rest of the guidance will remain the same.

沙巴体育appFrom 1 August the advice to shield will be paused, and you will be able to strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. This means you will be able to visit shops and pharmacies, places of worship and go back to work if you cannot work from home and it is safe to do so. Food and medicine deliveries provided by the Government will stop however other forms or support such as priority online delivery slots and NHS Responders will continue.

We know that being asked to shield is difficult, especially as restrictions are being lifted faster for other people. We also know that some people will be worried about changes which are being made to the shielding guidance and will not feel comfortable leaving the house at all. It is ultimately your choice whether you decide to remain shielding or decide to leave the house in line with the current guidance. If you are concerned it is a good idea to speak to your GP or clinician about your worries.

沙巴体育appPeople who are considered extremely vulnerable include:

  • people who’ve received solid organ transplants
  • people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
  • people with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
  • people on immunosuppression therapies which significantly increase the risk of infection
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • people having immune therapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • people with kidney disease.

People who are considered extremely vulnerable include:

  • people who’ve received solid organ transplants
  • people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
  • people with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
  • people on immunosuppression therapies which significantly increase the risk of infection
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • people having immune therapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • people with kidney disease.

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Last updated: Jun 30 2020

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