Measures to prevent spread and protect people at increased risk
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The following measures are recommended to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect people at increased risk of severe illness:
Robust hand hygiene with soap and water several times a day. If this is unavailable alcohol-based hand rub can be used.
Social distancing measures should be followed by everyone, including children, in line with the government advice to stay at home. The aim of social distancing measures is to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Up to date information can be found on the NHS Inform website. Note that shielding advice should be followed by individuals at risk of severe infection (see below).
Shielding is a measure to protect people, including children, who are extremely vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19 because of certain underlying health conditions. The aim of shielding is to minimise interaction between these individuals and others to protect them from coming into contact with COVID-19. People with these serious underlying health conditions are strongly advised to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. Further information, including the list of underlying health conditions that make people extremely vulnerable, is available on the NHS Inform website.
Stay at home
Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection measures should be followed by people with symptoms and their household contacts to reduce the community spread of COVID-19. This means that anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 and anyone else living in the same household should follow stay at home advice on NHS Inform.