Strict new measures from the Government that aim to save lives by slowing the spread of the coronavirus mean big changes to the way we all live, work and socialise – regardless of our age.
For at least the next three weeks, everyone in the UK should stay at home, leaving the house only if absolutely necessary.
The Government has made it clear that there are only four reasons to leave your house:
to go to work, if you are an essential worker and can’t work from home
to shop for essential items - such as food - or to pick up medicines
to care for a vulnerable person or to seek medical help for yourself
to go for a walk, a bike ride or a run (no more than once a day)
This means you must no longer meet up with family and friends – in your home or in their homes. And while you are still able to leave the house with members of your own household, you should avoid meeting up with anyone you don’t live with. The Police will have powers to fine anyone in a public space who’s in a group of more than two people, if they don’t live in the same household.
When you do go out, always keep a 2-metre gap – that’s about 6ft – between yourself and the next person. And that applies if you’re buying food in a supermarket, making an essential journey by bus, or you’re outdoors, having a walk in the fresh air.
Everyone should continue to protect themselves – and others – by thoroughly washing their hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, regularly throughout the day. Hand sanitizer can be used when soap and hot water aren’t available.
Always sneeze or cough into a clean tissue – not in your hands – and then bin the tissue immediately, before thoroughly washing your hands.
To protect yourself from the virus, only touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are perfectly clean – and avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus.
This advice applies to everyone, but it’s vital for people at higher risk of serious illness from the coronavirus: that’s people aged 70 and over, people of any age with an underlying health condition, people with a weakened immune system, and pregnant women.
People classed as ‘extremely vulnerable’, and therefore at the greatest risk of serious illness from the coronavirus, should shield themselves from infection by staying at home for at least the next 12 weeks.
This group includes people with certain cancers, those who have received organ transplants, people on certain immunosuppression therapies, and people with severe respiratory conditions, such as severe asthma or severe COPD.
All those classed as extremely vulnerable will receive a letter or text this week (by Sunday 29 March) that will provide further help and advice.
Further information for extremely vulnerable people, and those who care for them, is available here
Leicester City Council’s director of public health Ivan Browne said: “The coronavirus pandemic means that we all need to change the way we live our lives for a while.
“It’s not going to be easy, but by drastically reducing our interaction with other people, we can help slow the spread of this highly infectious virus.
“Although for most people this is a mild, self-limiting illness, for some people the consequences are far more serious so it’s really important that we do all we can to prevent the infection from spreading.”
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We’re working closely with our partners at Public Health England to protect the people of Leicester, with the most vulnerable members of our community our top priority.
“We’re also working hard to ensure we can continue to provide the vital services that people in Leicester will rely on during the coming days and weeks.
“But the most important message for me to stress is that you must stay at home.
“Unless you’re an essential worker, please stay at home, protect the NHS and help save lives.”
With advice changing all the time, it’s important that you only go to trusted sources such as BBC Radio Leicester and the Leicester Mercury for reliable and up-to-date information that will help keep you and your family safe.
The Government’s latest advice for UK citizens is available at www.gov.uk
Symptoms of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – are as follows:
A high temperature: you feel hot to touch on your back or chest
A new and continuous cough: i.e. you've just started coughing repeatedly
If you have any of these symptoms, however mild, you need to remain at home and self-isolate for seven days, if you live alone.
If you live with other people, please note that if one member of the household shows symptoms of coronavirus, the entire household must self-isolate for 14 days.
Guidance for those staying at home with possible coronavirus is available here
Guidance for everyone in the UK about staying at home and away from others is available here
Guidance for vulnerable people, and for those who care for older or vulnerable people, is available here
Information about the coronavirus in Leicester is available at leicester.gov.uk/coronavirus,
while information about council services affected by coronavirus can be found at
Source : Leicester City Council Press Release