Protecting yourself during a Coronavirus COVID 19 lockdown

The single most important action you can take is to stay at home in a COVID 19 lockdown order is  to take the pressure off the medical services and therefore you will save lives.

Government advice is currently that you should only leave the house for very limited reasons.

– Shopping for basic necessities for example food and medicine, as infrequently as possible.
– One form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk or cycle, alone or with members of your household.
– Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid the risk of harm, provide care or help a vulnerable person.
– Travelling for work purposes but only where you cannot work from home.

When you are outside you should minimise time spent outside your home and ensure you are at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household.

Critical workers and parents of vulnerable children may leave the house to take their children to and from schools or their childcare provider.

When you are shopping you need to think about your actions and help yourself and others to keep safe.

Some ideas to keep safe while shopping are to:

Only shop when needed, do not go every day, buy for the week to minimise the number of trips. Do not make shopping trips just an excuse to leave home.

Use home delivery services but that is not always easy to get a slot.

Shop smart exactly what you need without panic buying and plan what you need to limit wasting food and making your shopping trip as quick as possible. Try and shop when the store is not busy.

Use hand gel if you have some and do not use a trolley, use bags for life if you only need a few items and you can carry them. If you do use a trolley, wipe it down with anti-viral wipes or spray or put alcohol hand gel.  If you use scan and shop, make sure you clean the scanner as well.

Avoid unnecessary touching of shelves or products, look for what you want and pick up the product you want to buy to avoid contamination risks.

Avoid using your phone as this can transfer the virus directly to your face.

Keep at least 2 meters away from shoppers and staff, this is about two trolleys apart.  Ideally, just one adult do the shopping for the household. Think about social distancing the whole time and do what the store tell you and follow their rules.

Gel hands before getting in a car and wash hands when you return.  If you do not have gel, use gloves and wash your hands before and after your shop.

Pay by card or contactless payments to minimise possible contamination.

And finally, think about the safety of staff in the store to keep your distance and let them do their important job safely and follow their requests.

Some other ideas to protect yourself and your household during a lockdown include:

– Do no go out unless absolutely necessary.  Think before every trip and ask yourself do you really need to go out?
– Do not meet family and friends, phone or video chat instead.
– Do not be tempted by hot weather to break the rules.
– Leave parcels that are delivered on the doormat for a day or so and do what the delivery driver wants in respect of social distancing to keep them and you safe.
– Wash or gel hands when you go out and return.
– If you have it, gel your hands regularly while out.
– Do not touch your face.
– If you use masks, use them correctly.
– Wearing gloves can help but you need to remove them before getting your car and dispose of correctly.
– Ensure your whole family or household work together to reduce risks and keep up to date with the latest advice and make sure you pass that information to everyone in your household.