Following the Prime Minister's announcement last night that we must now stay indoors to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), everyone in the UK must do their bit to reduce the pressure on the NHS by staying in their homes.
Although our routines will be changing for a while, it's important for us to stay positive and remember that this is not forever. We also have to make sure we're clued up on what we can and can’t do during this period for the sake of our NHS.
The speech made clear that we shouldn’t be leaving the house unless it’s absolutely necessary for a small number of reasons listed below:
Shopping for basic necessities like food and medicine "as infrequently as possible" and use food delivery services "where you can"
One form of exercise a day, such as a run, walk or cycle. This can be done alone or with members of your household
Any medical need, to give care or to help a vulnerable person
Travelling to and from work, but only if this is "absolutely necessary" and cannot be done from home
If you are a key worker, working in the critical sector such as the NHS, you are still able to leave the house to take your children to school.
Other things to remember
If you're doing some exercise outside of the home or getting any fresh air, you should remain at least two metres away from anyone outside your household when walking or exercising out and about.
You should not see friends and family who live outside your home during this period.
Public gatherings of more than two people outside your household are banned including weddings, baptisms, and other ceremonies apart from funerals but only immediate family can attend.
The below have all been forced to close until further notice:
Shops selling clothing and electronics
Hair, beauty and nail salons
Libraries, community centres and youth centres
Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and sports courts
Places of worship
Outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets
Bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities
Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use. This excludes permanent residents and key workers
These temporary measures are enforceable by the police who have the power to fine those who aren’t following the new guidelines.
The Prime Minister also said that these restrictions are being kept under constant review and should remain in place for at least the next three weeks until being reassessed. The government will then assess whether it is safe enough to relax the rules.
Exercise: Take a walk/run or cycle once per day on a route where you’re unlikely to bump into many others.
Fresh air: It’s finally starting to feel like spring so if you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space or garden, it’s important to spend plenty of time out there.
Socialising: You’re bound to be missing your family during this difficult period, but it’s more important than ever to use clever technology to communicate with our loved ones over video call, audio call and messages.
Food: If you can, book a supermarket delivery slot as soon as you can to avoid going out to the shops. Alternatively, you should try to minimise any supermarket visits where possible so if it’s only a few bits you need, it might be worth asking a neighbour when they’re next visiting the shops.
Community: Spare a thought for those who are vulnerable and lonely over the next few months and make sure you try and be there for them as much as possible by offering to shop for them, walk their dog or even just a quick phonecall every evening to check-in with them. Use the hashtag #CommunityMatters and tag @motherandbaby to let us know how you're supporting your community over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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