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How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

We all need to do our bit to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from coronavirus.


See our National lockdown page to get the most up to date advice about what you can and cannot do.

How to stop coronavirus spreading

 There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other.

  • Wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly.
  • Cover face - wear a face covering in enclosed spaces.
  • Make space - stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.

Social distancing

To reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus, try to keep at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with. Social distancing is essential to stop the spread of the virus, as it is more likely to spread when people are close together. An infected person can pass on the virus even if they do not have any symptoms, through talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing. Where you cannot stay 2 metres apart you should stay more than 1 metre apart, as well as taking extra steps to stay safe. See Staying alert and safe (social distancing).

Support bubble

If you want to expand the group of people you can have close contact with during the coronavirus pandemic, making a support bubble with another household is the safest way to do so. A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

Find out how to make a support bubble with another household at Making a support bubble with another household.

Face coverings

By law you must wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets, in banks, building societies and post offices, on public transport, transport terminals and stations and when visiting or attending hospital to protect others against the spread of infection. This now includes other indoor settings where you will be in contact with people you do not normally meet, including museums, galleries, cinemas, places of worship, register offices, funerals and our park cafes. Some people are exempt and don't have to wear a face covering.

Babies and children under the age of three should not wear face coverings as they could cause choking or suffocation.

For more information see Face coverings - when to wear one and how to make your own

What to do if you think you have coronavirus

If you, or a member of your household, has symptoms of coronavirus you must stay at home (called 'self-isolating') and arrange to get a test.

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

See What to do if you think you have coronavirus for advice on self-isolation and how to get help.

See Get a coronavirus test

What to do if you're at high risk from coronavirus

See our Advice if you're at high risk from coronavirus (shielding) page.

Ask a question

If this page doesn't answer your question, you can use our COVID-19 general enquiry form and we will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.

Contact us
County Durham Together Community Hub
03000 260 260
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