Last week, Public Health England (PHE) published their latest advice to people about when, and how, to self-isolate if any of us start showing symptoms of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
The most common symptoms are a recent onset of either or both of a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.
For most people COVID-19 will only be a mild infection, but self-isolating is nonetheless extremely important. By staying indoors during the infectious period, you will help to slow the spread of the disease, protect more vulnerable citizens, and ease the burden on our NHS at it handles critical cases.
If you do need to self-isolate, there are plenty of sensible steps you can take both to make the process easier for you and safer for those around you.
First, ask your employer, friends, and family to help to ensure that you have everything you need to stay at home. This might include adjustments to allow for home working, as well as adequate supplies of food and other essentials.
This also includes taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing. Try to ensure you can regularly speak to friends and relatives on the phone or online, and stock up on books, films, and other diversions. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home too.
Should you need anything delivered, either by friends or a company, during your period of self-isolation you must ensure that the packages are left outside for you to collect.
You should remain in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis. You cannot go for a walk, although if you have a garden you may use that.
If you live with others, take common-sense precautions. Try to remain in separate rooms as much as possible. Cook and bathe separately and take your meals in your bedroom. Use a separate bathroom if possible and, if not, thoroughly wash all surfaces after you have used it. Always try to stay two metres (about three paces) away from family or flatmates.
The full PHE advice is easily available online. Please take a few minutes to make sure you and your family are prepared.