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COVID-19: What measures should I be following?

[Updated: 29/04/21]

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 differs depending on your individual circumstances and the area you live in.

The advice varies across the UK because of local restrictions due to differences in the number of active cases of COVID-19, hospital capacity, and the COVID-19 reproduction rate (number of people infected by someone with COVID-19).

You can check the advice in your area by clicking on the link to the government advice in your country below, or by using a trusted postcode checker like this one by the BBC.

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
  • Symptoms of myeloma
  • Side effects of treatment

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

England

[Updated: 13/04/21]

England is following national restrictions. On 12 April England moved to stage two of the government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.

General measures:

  • Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
  • You can socialise outdoors in either a group of up to six from any number of households or in a group of any size from up to two households
  • You must follow social distancing rules (keeping 2m apart)
  • You must wear a face covering in public places
  • Work from home where possible

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

Shielding

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

Additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people:

  • Limit the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • Strictly 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

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

Self-isolation

Self-isolating means staying at home to prevent the spread of infection. It should be followed when you have COVID-19, have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone with symptoms and pose an infection risk to others.

Find out what you should and shouldn’t do while self-isolating by reading the full guidance here.

If you are self-isolating because you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a test through the GOV.UK website or by calling 119 if you have no internet access.

If you have any planned medical appointments, contact your healthcare team for advice to ensure you get the necessary medical care.

Who should be self-isolating?

Recommended for people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Important

Patients on treatment, or recovering from HDT-SCT, who have COVID-19 symptoms (especially fever) should contact their healthcare team.

Scotland

[Updated: 29/04/21]

Scotland is using a five-tiered system of local protection levels to set the measures you should be following. On 26 April,  all of Scotland was moved to Level 3.

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

COVID protection level 3

General measures:

  • You must not socialise with other households in your own home
  • You can socialise in groups of up to six people from two households in indoor public spaces
  • You can socialise with up to six people from a maximum of six  households outdoors
  • You must follow social distancing rules
  • You must wear a face covering in public places
  • Work from home where possible

Shielding

Clinically extremely vulnerable people who were previously asked to shield are advised to follow the Additional Protection Levels advice for people on the shielding list as well as the national COVID-19 guidance.

  • Limit the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • Avoid indoor public spaces
  • Strictly follow the guidelines when shopping and limit the number of times you go to a shop
  • Shop at quieter times
  • 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

Self-isolation

Self-isolating means staying at home to prevent the spread of infection. It should be followed when you have COVID-19, have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone with symptoms and pose an infection risk to others.

Find out what you should and shouldn’t do while self-isolating by reading the full guidance here.

If you are self-isolating because you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a test through the GOV.UK website or by calling 119 if you have no internet access.

If you have any planned medical appointments, contact your healthcare team for advice to ensure you get the necessary medical care.

Who should be self-isolating?

Recommended for people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Important

Patients on treatment, or recovering from HDT-SCT, who have COVID-19 symptoms (especially fever) should contact their healthcare team.

Wales

[Updated: 29/04/21]

Wales is currently following interim restrictions as part of the move out of lockdown (alert level 4) to alert level 3.

Interim restrictions from 26 April

  • You can’t create an extended household (single adults or parents may join with one other household to form an exclusive support bubble)
  • You can only meet the people you live with or your support bubble indoors
  • You can socialise outdoors in a group of up to six people from two households
  • You must follow social distancing rules (keeping 2m apart)
  • You must wear a face covering in public places
  • Work from home if you can

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. 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.

  • Limit the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • Strictly 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.

Self-isolation

Self-isolation means staying at home to prevent the spread of infection. It is recommended when you have COVID-19, have symptoms or have been in contact with someone with symptoms and pose an infection risk to others.

Find out what you should and shouldn’t do while self-isolating by reading the full guidance here.

If you are self-isolating because you have COVID-19 symptoms you should book a test through the GOV.UK website or by calling 119 if you have no internet access.

If you have any planned medical appointments contact your healthcare team for advice to ensure you get the necessary medical care.

Who should be self-isolating?

Recommended for people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Important

Patients on treatment or recovering from HDT-SCT who have COVID-19 symptoms (especially fever) should contact their healthcare team.

Northern Ireland

[Updated: 30/04/21]

Northern Ireland has national guidance outlining the measures you should be following to reduce levels of COVID-19.  The current guidance is expected to be in place until 13 May.

The general measures include:

  • You must not socialise with other households in your own home
  • Up to 15 people (including children) from up to three households can meet outdoors in a private garden
  • You can socialise in groups of up to six people from two households in indoor public spaces
  • Bubbles between two households are limited to a maximum of ten people
  • You must follow social distancing rules
  • You must wear a face covering in public places
  • Work from home where possible
  • Plan ahead when travelling and try to avoid busy times and routes, walk or cycle if you can

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
  • Strictly 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.

Self-isolation

Self-isolation means staying at home to prevent the spread of infection. It is recommended when you have COVID-19, have symptoms or have been in contact with someone with symptoms and pose an infection risk to others.

Find out what you should and shouldn’t do while self-isolating by reading the full guidance here.

If you are self-isolating because you have COVID-19 symptoms you should book a test through the GOV.UK website or by calling 119 if you have no internet access.

If you have any planned medical appointments contact your healthcare team for advice to ensure you get the necessary medical care.

Who should be self-isolating?

Recommended for people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Important

Patients on treatment or recovering from HDT-SCT who have COVID-19 symptoms (especially fever) should contact their healthcare team.