in the know

What are social distancing and self-isolation?

The government says it is prepared to take “more action” if people do not follow its advice to limit the spread of coronavirus when they have to leave their homes.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC that some people’s behaviour was “very selfish”.

What should I be doing?

Everybody in the UK has been asked to stop non-essential contact and stay at home wherever possible. If people do go outside – to buy food for example – they must stay more than 2m (6.5ft) apart from others.

To prevent people getting too close, cafes, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres are all closing.

The move is part of the UK’s social distancing measures to minimise non-essential contact. By keeping a safe distance from other people, it becomes much harder for the disease to spread.

It follows people with flu-like symptoms – such as a dry cough and high temperature – being asked to self-isolate at home to avoid infecting others.