What can you do?
You can help your neighbours who are isolating, or those who you know may be vulnerable or at risk, or you feel may be unable to cope under the present restrictions, by simple acts of good neighbourliness. It is, however, ESSENTIAL that you only provide support to people who are in isolation if:
- You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does
- You are under 70
- You are not pregnant
- You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus.
Importantly, you should not go inside the homes of anyone you do not live with, especially vulnerable people or people who believe they may be infected and are isolating themselves. Breaking these rules could put you at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others.
Shopping – if people staying at home because of coronavirus need basic necessities, you could make a special trip although you should try to limit the time you spend outside your home by picking up essential items for others only when you do your own shopping. Alternatively, you could help those who aren’t as familiar with online shopping by placing an order for them or by talking them through the process over the phone.
Medication – you can pick up prescriptions on someone else’s behalf although people should only request medication that they need, in their usual quantities.
Well Being – staying at home for a long time can be a lonely experience and may impact on people’s wellbeing. Just saying hello and regularly checking in over the phone or by video-chat is important and helpful in making people realise that they are not alone.
Safety – Remember to keep a safe distance (2m or 6ft away from anyone you do not live with) when leaving any items on the person’s doorstep or drop off area, and make sure that they have collected the shopping or medication before leaving.
You should also regularly wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
If you have offered to help other people, please do not place yourself in positions where you may feel unsafe, for instance helping late at night.
If you or someone in your household has shown symptoms, or if you are more vulnerable to coronavirus yourself, then you must stay home. You can still play an important role but will need to do this from home.