COVID-19: What measures should I be following?

[Updated:21/03/22]

The advice about what people should be doing to minimise their risk of infection and prevent the spread of COVID-19 is continually changing. The advice can differ depending on your individual circumstances and the area you live in.

Important

Regardless of where you live or the measures you are following you should contact your healthcare team as soon as possible if you develop new or worsening:

  • Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Symptoms of any other infection (especially fever)
  • Symptoms of myeloma
  • Side effects of treatment

Please see our COVID-19 FAQs for answers about treatment, vaccines, testing and more.

England

[Updated: 24/02/22]

Although the government is removing remaining domestic restrictions in England, there are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.

It is recommended that:

  • You get vaccinated when offered
  • You minimise the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • You meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces
  • There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. The government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet
  • Take lateral flow tests before meeting others or entering “high-risk settings” such as a workplace
  • You test yourself regularly even if you do not have symptoms
  • You self-isolate for 10 days (or five full days following two negative lateral flow test results) if you develop Covid-19 symptoms or test positive. You will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19, but it is recommended that you stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people

For full details of the recommendations see the UK Government website.

Shielding

Shielding ended on 31 March 2021. Clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to follow the same restrictions as the general population in England.

Additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people:

  • Meet outside where possible
  • Make sure the space is well ventilated if you meet inside
  • Consider continuing to practice social distancing in public spaces or when meeting friends
  • Consider shopping at quiet times or ask others to shop for you
  • When using public transport consider travelling outside peak hours to reduce the number of people with whom you come into contact
  • Ask friends and family to take a lateral flow test before visiting you
  • Work from home if possible

You can read the government advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people here.

Scotland

[Updated: 21/03/22]

Although the government is removing remaining most domestic restrictions in Scotland, there are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.

For full details of the restrictions (including information on local businesses and amenities, events such as weddings and funerals, schools, and universities), see the Scottish Government website.

To help protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19 you are advised to:

  • Get the vaccine or vaccine booster when offered
  • Wear a face covering in most public spaces (this will remain the law until 4 April 2022)
  • Take regular tests if you don’t have symptoms to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Minimize the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • If mixing with others keep gatherings small
  • Keep your distance from people not in your group
  • Take lateral flow tests before meeting with others
  • Open windows when meeting indoors
  • Follow the guidance on self-isolating and getting a PCR test
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Keep your distance from other people where possible
  • Meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors
  • Work from home if you can – a mixture of home and office working will be allowed from 31 January 2022
  • Use the apps: COVID status (vaccine passport), Protect Scotland and Check-in Scotland

Shielding

Clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to follow the same restrictions as the general population in Scotland:

Additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people:

  • Get a free Distance Aware badge or lanyard to show others you need space
  • Reduce the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • Meet outside or in a well-ventilated place
  • Avoid crowded places and keep a safe distance, especially indoors, from people who are not in your own household
  • If you can’t work from home speak to your employer to ensure all appropriate protections are in place. Where you have a concern, you should discuss this with your employer. If your workplace can’t be made safe, you can discuss whether you need a fit note with your GP or consultant

Wales

[Updated: 28/02/22]

Wales uses a tiered system of local protection levels to set the measures you should follow. On 28 January, all of Wales moved to alert level 0.

To help protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19, you are advised to:

  • Get vaccines and a booster when offered
  • Wear a face covering in indoor public spaces
  • Do a lateral flow test before seeing others
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Avoid crowded places and keep your distance from other people where possible
  • Meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors
  • Work from home where you can
  • Follow the guidance on self-isolation and getting a PCR test

For full details of the Welsh COVID restrictions (including information on local businesses and amenities, events such as weddings and funerals, schools and universities), see the Welsh Government Website.

Shielding

Shielding ended on March 31 2021. Clinically extremely vulnerable people who were previously asked to shield are advised to follow the additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people as well as the national COVID-19 guidance.

  • Minimise the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • Follow the social distancing guidelines in public spaces
  • Shop at quiet times or ask others to shop for you
  • Avoid public transport or consider travelling outside peak hours to reduce the number of people with whom you come into contact
  • If you can’t work from home, following a workplace risk assessment, your employer should make the necessary adjustments to your workplace to protect you. Discuss start and finish times to help you avoid using public transport at peak times.

You can read the government advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people here.

Northern Ireland

[Updated: 18/02/22]

Although the government is removing remaining domestic restrictions in Northern Ireland, there are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.

The recommendations include:

  • Get the vaccine and booster when offered
  • Meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors
  • Wear a face covering in public places
  • Book a test and self-isolate  if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Regularly take a lateral flow device (LFD) test, even if you don’t have symptoms
  • Keep your distance from others
  • Limit your contacts, including the amount of social contact you have with other households
  • Avoid crowded places and keep your distance from other people where possible
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Work from home where possible

You can read the full guidance for Northern Ireland on the Northern Irish Government website.

Shielding

Clinically extremely vulnerable people who were previously asked to shield should follow the same guidelines as the general population in Northern Ireland as well as the additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

Additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people:

  • Limit the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • Follow the social distancing guidelines in public spaces
  • Shop at quiet times or ask others to shop for you
  • Avoid public transport as much as possible or consider travelling outside peak hours to reduce the number of people with whom you come into contact
  • If you can’t work from home, following a workplace risk assessment, your employer should make the necessary adjustments to your workplace to protect you. Discuss start and finish times to help you avoid using public transport at peak times.

You can read the government advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people here.

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