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The COVID-19 pandemic has made life in the UK and Ireland unrecognisable compared to how it was just a few months ago. 

Naturally, people are very anxious and worried about catching the virus and passing it on to their family, friends, and colleagues.  

There are several things you can do to minimise your chances of contracting COVID-19.

Follow government guidelines

The UK government has implemented a range of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and these should be followed as closely as possible.  

For further information on the latest government information, visit the GOV.UK website regularly or listen to a reputable news source. 

Social distancing

Only leave the house for a limited number of reasons including: 

  • Shopping for essential food or medical items (get them delivered where possible) 
  • One form of exercise per day either by yourself or with members of your household 
  • Maintain a distance of at least two metres between yourself and anyone who does not live with you

Self-isolate

Some people are at a higher risk of developing life-threatening complications from COVID-19.  These include the elderly, the immunocompromised and those with certain pre-existing conditions.  

If you fall into one of these categories, then you will need to follow government advice on self-isolating.  

Should someone in your household show symptoms, they will need to self-isolate for seven days and others who live with them will need to self-isolate for 14 days. The main symptoms you need to look out for are: 

  • A high temperature
  • A continuous dry cough (if you’ve never had a cough previously or the worsening of an existing cough)

Maintain good hygiene 

Good personal hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and a whole host of other bugs too. 

  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
  • Don’t touch your face or mouth 
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue (or your elbow), dispose of it straight away and wash your hands
  • If you are outside, or shopping, try not to touch anything and use hand sanitizer if you can’t find anywhere to wash your hands
  • Disinfect places in your home that are touched often.  This can include door handles, taps, light switches, toilet flushes and bannisters 

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is a vital product for those working in health or social care.  Other employers are also providing their employees who cannot work from home PPE to carry out their jobs.  

This PPE includes facemasks, gloves, aprons and eye protection.  

At present, 30 countries require people to wear a protective facemask when outside and it is expected that the UK could introduce these measures too.  

Whether or not PPE becomes compulsory, many people are already using gloves and masks when they are shopping, working or exercising.  

When buying PPE for yourself or your employees, it is vital that it comes from a reputable supplier.  There are many reports of scams and fraudsters taking advantage of people who may be struggling to find the things they need.