The latest updates from the government is that everyone must stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. They are introducing three new measures:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
These measures are effective immediately. Relevant authorities have also been given rights to uphold these measures, such as the police have been given the authority to give out fines and disperse gatherings.
We know this can seem a bit daunting, and it’s sometimes hard to know what these frequent changes mean, so below we’ve outlined the Government’s guidance and exactly what they need us all to do.
Staying at home
You should only leave the house for one of the following four reasons:
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
If you have to leave the house for any of these reasons, you need to make sure you are minimising the amount of time you are spending outside and keeping at least 2 metres away from anyone that you do not live with. These measures must be followed by everyone.
Closing non-essential shops and public spaces
Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses - including pubs, cinemas and theatres - to close. The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:
- All non-essential retail stores - this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
- Libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
- Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
- Communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- Places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
- Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).
There is a full list of these businesses on the Government website, with more information. Some businesses, that aren’t on their list, may remain open. You can find this list here.
Stopping public gatherings
The government has also stopped gatherings of more than 2 people.
There are only two exceptions to this rule:
- Where the gathering is of a group of people who live together - this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
- Where the gathering is essential for work purposes - but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
This will include social events, such as weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. However there will be an exception for funerals, which can be attended by immediate family. There may be other restrictions so it is best to speak with the specific Funeral Director organising the funeral for confirmation on all aspects as these guidelines are likely to change.
These measures are initially in place for 3 weeks, and will then be reviewed by the government. If the evidence shows that they are working, then they will relax them if possible.
Tips for staying at home through coronavirus (COVID-19)
We know that these measures can seem quite daunting to some, as well as frustrating and even boring in some cases. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people. All of this is completely understandable and you aren’t alone in feeling this way!
With these measures in place, it can be helpful to know that there are other things that you can do – that stick to the measures – to stay mentally and physically active.
- Look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website. A number of organisations are also sharing free home work-out videos and plans.
- Spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes
- Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
- Keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
- Find new ways to stay connected to people. This could include video calls to family and friends, or joining online forums or groups. We have online support groups for people affected by a brain tumour diagnosis, which enables you to be part of a community who understand how you’re feeling!
- Our community have recently been sharing their tips and advice for staying positive during self-isolation.
- For more information about social distancing and steps you can take to keep yourself and those around you safe, take a look at the Government's information
BBC News have put together the following advice on how to stick together through social distancing and self isolation for coronavirus (COVID-19):
We know that these changes are a lot to take in, and can bring with them a number of questions and concerns, so do remember that our Information and Support Team are here as normal, between 9-5, Monday to Friday, if you have anything that you would like to talk through. You can email them at email@example.com or call them on 0808 800 0004.
More information on coronavirus (COVID-19)
We’ve also put together a number of resources for people with tips on how to cope with self-isolation and looking after your wellbeing: