Coronavirus: protect yourself and others

Updated: 3 February 2021 

National lockdown: stay at home - the single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Self-isolate and book a test immediately if you get symptoms.

Help reduce transmission of COVID-19

We all need to continue to play our part to protect each other and our communities to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in the county. 

Guidance is available from GOV.UK on:

Visit the GermDefence website for further advice on reducing the risks from COVID-19 in your home.

Hands, Face, Space, Let Fresh Air In

Coronavirus spreads from person to person through small droplets, tiny airborne particles known as aerosols and through direct contact. To reduce the chance of catching or passing on coronavirus to or from the people you live with, you should:

  • wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • clean surfaces often - pay particular attention to surfaces that are touched frequently, such as handles, light switches, work surfaces and electronic devices
  • cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze
  • if you live in the same household as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, try to stay 2 metres away from them even when you are at home
  • avoid direct contact and face to face contact with people you do not live with
  • make sure you let plenty of fresh air into your home without getting uncomfortably cold (this should be balanced with other considerations such as comfort, safety and security)

If you must leave your home, keep a safe distance (social distancing) and:

  • stay at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble
  • reduce the time spent in crowded areas where it may be difficult to socially distance (such as shops and supermarkets) - see Ventilation guidance below
  • avoid direct contact and face to face contact with people you do not live with
  • wear a face covering where required, unless you are exempt
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth where possible - if you do need to touch your face (for example to put on or take off your face covering), wash or sanitise your hands before and after
  • wash your hands as soon as you return home

Further guidance is available from GOV.UK on:


This short film shows the importance of ventilation to reduce the spread of COVID-19. When a room does not have any fresh air, and where people are generating large amounts of aerosol through activities such as singing and loud speech, that is when transmission of coronavirus is most likely. Fresh air must come from outdoors – recirculating air just means the aerosols containing the virus move around the same room rather than being extracted outdoors.

To increase the flow of air you can:

  • open windows as much as possible
  • open doors
  • make sure that any vents (for example at the top of a window) are open and airflow is not blocked
  • leave extractor fans (for example in bathrooms) running for longer than usual with the door closed after someone has used the room

If your home has a mechanical ventilation system which circulates air through vents and ducts, ensure it is working and increase its flow rate when you have visitors (for example, if someone is viewing your house to buy) or if someone in your home is sick.

You can also reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 if you:

  • avoid coming into contact with people in spaces with limited flow of fresh air, such as rooms with windows that are never opened
  • reduce the amount of time you spend indoors with people you do not live with
  • make sure you let plenty of fresh air into your home without getting uncomfortably cold if you have people working in or visiting your house (only where permitted) - do this during their visit and after they leave

This video shows why washing hands regularly, wearing a face covering and keeping at least 2m apart is vital in controlling the spread. 

How to look after yourself at home if you have coronavirus

Guidance is available from the NHS on how to look after yourself at home if you have coronavirus including:

  • treating a high temperature
  • treating a cough
  • get help while you're staying at home
  • things to try if you're feeling breathless
  • when to get advice from 111 or your GP
  • when to go to A&E or call 999
  • advice on using a pulse oximeter to check the level of oxygen in your blood. If you have a pulse oximeter at home, you can use it to help monitor your condition


Recovering from COVID-19

Guidance on long-term health effects (Long COVID) of COVID-19 is available via GOV.UK.

The NHS Your Covid Recovery site provides information on what you might expect as part of your recovery and information for family, friends and carers.

NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app is available to download for free. It's the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

Using proven technology from Apple and Google, the app will notify you if you have come into contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus. It also allows you to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that have coronavirus.

For information visit the NHS COVID-19 app website.