This information is being regularly updated in line with latest Government guidance and advice. The content of this page was checked and updated on 2 April 2020.

How to protect yourself and others

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

This includes people of all ages - even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

You can only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials - only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day - such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need - for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work - but only where this is absolutely necessary

Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often - do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside

Do not

  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Find out more and keep up to date with the latest information and advice at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

If you smoke, you can reduce your risk of developing more serious illnesses by quitting. For help and advice please call 0800 169 9913 or visit www.stopsmokingsunderland.nhs.uk

Looking after your mental health

The NHS's Every Mind Matters campaign has now released expert advice on how best to look after mental wellbeing while staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak. The advice contains practical steps a person can take and includes videos, tutorials and links to other useful resources: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

The Government has issued guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is also available.

Further information can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/new-advice-to-support-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

Stay Physically Active

Exercise is still important for people's physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.  For guidance on how to do this safely see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces

High blood pressure medication

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has advised that if you are taking medication to treat high blood pressure, it is vitally important you continue your usual treatment. There is no evidence from clinical or epidemiological studies that these might worsen coronavirus infection. You can find out more at www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-and-high-blood-pressure-medication

Public information resources with advice from Public Health England to help people protect themselves and others are available from Public Health England campaign resource centre. 

Decontamination advice for non-healthcare settings is also available.