New steps to combat COVID-19

As many of you will be aware, the Government has decided on significant new steps to help combat the current coronavirus outbreak. These steps will change the ordinary lives of everyone in this country, however they are necessary to save lives and to stop this disease.

The new advice is as follows:

  • If you or anyone in your home has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, you should stay at home for 14 days. If at all possible, you should not go out even to buy food and essentials. Instead, you should ask others for assistance with your daily necessities. If it is not possible to get help from others, you should do what you can to limit your social contact when you leave the house. 
  • Even if you or anyone in your household do not have symptoms, we are advising people against all unnecessary social contact with others and against all unnecessary travel. If possible, people should start to work from home. We should avoid pubs, clubs, cinemas and restaurants, and use the NHS only when we really need to.
  • This advice is directed at everyone, but it is especially important for the over-70s, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions. The Government has stated this is especially true of London, which evidence suggests is several weeks ahead of the rest of the country. 
  • By this coming weekend, the Government will need to go even further to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks. 
  • Government will no longer be supporting mass gatherings. This will free up the critical workers needed to deal with this emergency. 

As we have seen, this is an ever-changing situation. The Government will be keeping all advice under review and will update as necessary. 

On Thursday, the Government will introduce the coronavirus emergency Bill to the House of Commons. This will give Government the powers they need to keep essential services running at a time when large parts of the workforce may be off sick. As the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock told the House of Commons last night, “Some of these measures will be very significant and a departure from the way that we do things in peacetime. They are strictly temporary and proportionate to the threat we face, and I hope that many will not have to be used at all. They will be activated only on the basis of scientific advice and will be in place for only as long as clinically necessary.”

Tackling coronavirus is a national effort and we all have our part to play. If people follow the public health advice, the less need there will be to bring in draconian actions.

Further information and guidance can be found at:

NHS Advice about COVID-19

Stay at home guidance

Full details of the Governments response

Advice for employees, employers and businesses