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Citizens Advice

Advice from Citizens Advice (CitA

Staying home

The government has said you must stay at home. They'll review this situation in mid-April 2020.

You could get a fine if you go out without a good reason. Good reasons for going out include:

  • shopping for basic things, for example food and medicine - this must be as infrequent as possible
  • exercise, for example a run, walk or bike ride - this can be alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need or to provide care or help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work - but only if your work can 'absolutely not be done from home'

If you have children under 18

If you’re separated from their other parent, you can still see your children under your usual arrangements. Find out how to change child arrangements if you’re self-isolating.

If your partner makes you feel anxious or threatened

You can still get help during this time. Contact a domestic abuse organisation to check what services are available.

You should read the latest guidance on what you should do on GOV.UK. This guidance from the government is updated every day.

Help you can get

The government has also announced other ways they’re helping people. 

We’ll publish new advice to help you understand any changes when they’re announced. We’ll also update our existing advice.

 Advice so far includes things like:

  • getting essential items and care if you’re ‘extremely vulnerable’
  • paying bills, including your rent
  • getting paid if you can’t work because of coronavirus
  • getting an online isolation note if you need to prove you’re sick
  • taking your children to school if you’re a key worker, for example if you work in the NHS, the police or do food deliveries
  • postponing or cancelling travel arrangements

If you’re extremely vulnerable because of a medical condition

You’re ‘extremely vulnerable’ if there’s a high risk you’ll get severely ill from coronavirus. For example, if you have severe asthma or cancer.

The NHS will contact you by Sunday 29 March with advice on how to avoid coming into contact with coronavirus. This is called ‘shielding’. They’ll ask you to:

  • avoid face to face contact with other people

  • stay at home for 12 weeks  

If you think you’re extremely vulnerable but the NHS hasn’t contacted you, contact your GP or hospital clinician. 

Find out more about shielding and if you’re classed as extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK.


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