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COVID-19: What measures should I be following?

[Updated: 10/09/21]

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 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: 10/09/21]

England is following national restrictions. On 19 July England moved to stage four of the government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 it is recommended that:

  • You get both vaccines when offered
  • You minimise the number of people outside your own household you meet with
  • You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces
  • You wear a face covering in crowded places
  • You test yourself  twice a week even if you do not have symptoms
  • You self isolate and take a PCR test if you have symptoms, think you have COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact

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:

  • 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

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

Scotland

[Updated: 10/09/21]

On 9 August Scotland moved out of the protection levels system and started following national restrictions.

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 both vaccines when offered
  • Wear a face covering, 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
  • Take regular tests if you don’t have symptoms to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
  • Self isolate and take a PCR test if you have symptoms, think you have COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact

Shielding

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

Additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people:

  • 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: 27/08/21]

Wales is using a tiered system of local protection levels to set the measures you should be following. On 7 August, all of Wales moved to alert level 0.

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

  • Get both vaccines when offered
  • Wear a face covering in indoor public spaces
  • 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
  • Self isolate and take a PCR test if you have symptoms, think you have COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact

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.

  • 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: 10/09/21]

Northern Ireland has national guidance outlining the measures you should be following to reduce levels of COVID-19.

The general measures include:

  • Get both vaccines when offered
  • Up to 15 people from no more than four households can meet in a private dwelling and stay overnight. Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total
  • You must follow social distancing rules
  • You must wear a face covering in public places
  • Work from home where possible
  • Planning ahead when travelling and try to avoid busy times and routes, walk or cycle if you can
  • Booking a test and self-isolating for 10 days if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Getting a PCR test if you’ve been identified as a close contact and self-isolating if you haven’t been fully vaccinated

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.