This year has been a year of the unexpected – with COVID-19 taking us all by surprise and the country going into nationwide lockdown. When restrictions were lifted, it was fantastic to get back to seeing family members we all hadn’t seen for months. We’ve all had to adapt and become used to the “new normal”.
As we’re heading into the winter months, there’s worry we’re heading towards a big second wave. The government have announced further advice to reduce the spread.
While Coronavirus is not likely to survive for long periods of time outdoors on surfaces in sunlight, it can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments. Washing your hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.
Face masks were made mandatory in shops and public transport due to COVID-19. This has also been extended to include indoor hospitality and private-hire vehicles.
Coronavirus is spread through tiny droplets in the air that carry the virus. These droplets can then land on other people or surfaces. Droplets can stay in the air indoors for at least 5 minutes, even longer if there is no ventilation. Face coverings reduce the dispersion of these droplets, meaning if you’re carrying the virus you’re less likely to spread it when you exhale.
You can read more about who needs to wear face coverings in our article.
Transmission of COVID-19 is more likely to happen within 2 metres. The risk increases at shorter distances. While keeping at exactly 2 metres isn’t always possible, remaining mindful of your surroundings and continuing to make space is wise. Maintaining social distancing and keeping space will help contain the spread.
Rule of six
When meeting people outside of your household, you can socialise in groups of up to 6. This is a legal limit. If your household is larger than 6 people, you can gather. You should continue to maintain social distancing with anyone you don’t live with.
It is better to limit all your social interactions to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. This is difficult to do, though. A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (this is known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. This is called making a “support bubble”.
Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being part of a single household. It means you can have close contact with members of that household as if they were members of your household. Once you make a support bubble you should not change who is in your support bubble.
Find out more about support bubbles on the gov.uk website.
You should continue to follow social distancing guidelines with people outside your household or support bubble.
These rules and regulations are changing and updating, so keep your eye on the news for latest government updates. We all need to pull together in these times so we can stop the spread of COVID-19.