Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

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Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

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When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has introduced (23 March 2020) three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

  2. Closing certain businesses and venues.

  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every person in the UK must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on Monday 23 March. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

The government will look again at these measures after three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Published 23 March 2020
Last updated 1 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. The social distancing guidelines have been updated to further clarify the requiremements of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, and add information on clinically vulnerable people.

  2. Updated with a link to the coronavirus outbreak FAQs page

  3. First published.