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As the UK continues to stay in lockdown, many are still questioning what we can and can’t do right now.
Boris Johnson revealed the UK was to enter a near-total lockdown in late March. In a televised address to the nation, he announced that the public would only be allowed to leave their home for exercise, to collect food, for medical reasons, and travelling to and from work if they can’t work from home.
The announcement came after crowds of people were pictured closely mixing in parks, markets and open spaces, despite being told they risked spreading the disease if they didn’t stay at least two metres apart.
So what should and shouldn’t you be doing right now? To make it a little easier, we’ve rounded up the dos and don’ts.
Dos and Don’ts
Do stay at home. It’s the only way to reduce the spread of this highly infectious virus. This means working from home and your employer should support you to do this. People should only be going to work if absolutely necessary and they can’t do their jobs from home. If you aren’t able to work from home, ensure you’re working in an environment where you’re two metres away from your co-workers. And if you, or someone in your household, has suspected symptoms of coronavirus – a continuous cough and/or fever – you all need to self-isolate indoors for 14 days. You can now get a sick note online.
Do keep two metres from others at all times – that’s the length of extremely tall Pointless co-host, Richard Osman. Under the new lockdown measures, people are only allowed to visit the shops for basic necessities, and as infrequently as possible. Keep the two-metre rule in mind when visiting supermarkets for your food shop. Ideally, where possible, prioritise at-home deliveries to reduce your chances of coming into contact with others. If you can’t go to a supermarket, try shopping at smaller, local stores or corner shops which are less likely to be busy.
Don’t get public transport unless absolutely necessary. At the start of this week, photos emerged showing packed train platforms and crammed Tube and tram carriages as workers were on their normal rush hour commute. These sorts of environments are breeding grounds for the virus to spread. So, if you have to go to work, think about other ways you could commute – could you walk, drive or cycle instead?
Don’t visit your family or friends. All gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with – will be banned. Police will issue fines and break up gatherings of those who flout the rules. Why not organise a meet-up on Zoom or House Party instead? People are getting creative with virtual pub quizzes and games. If you can’t video call them in some capacity, there’s always WhatsApp, email, written post, and the good old-fashioned phone call.
Do continue to practise good hygiene. Wash hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Steer clear of people with symptoms, cover your own coughs and sneezes with tissues, and frequently clean surfaces in your home.
Do use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
Don’t go to crowded parks to exercise. All gyms and outdoor gyms are closed. Under the lockdown measures, people can leave the house to do one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household (parks will remain open for this purpose only). Failing that, exercise at home instead. Tune in to PE with Joe Wicks, a daily YouTube workout.
Do continue to give blood. An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “People can still donate blood. Giving blood is classed as a medical need and a form of helping vulnerable people. It is essential to patients and the NHS. If you are fit and well, please keep donating as normal.”
Do keep doing the things you enjoy. Staying at home all the time can be mentally draining and isolating, so do things you love – carve out time to read, cook, bake, knit, craft, draw, paint, watch films or binge on that Netflix series. Play the board game that’s gathering dust on the top shelf, do that DIY you’ve been putting off, get out in the garden and plant some flowers. Now is the time.
Do eat healthy, well-balanced meals at home if you can and make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs.
Do crack open those windows and get some big deep breaths of that fresh spring air. Get out in the garden, if you can.
Don’t visit holiday homes, caravan parks and camp sites. The message from the government is clear: stay home, save lives.
Do keep your children at home. Yes, it’s hard but they shouldn’t be playing out with other kids right now as they risk spreading the virus and playgrounds are now closed under the lockdown measures.