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Coronavirus: updates and resources for our community

This section of our website is dedicated to compiling resources and information of the many different aspects of supporting our members and community through the coronavirus health crisis. It will be updated regularly. Please scroll down for sections on mental health, funding and finance questions and tips for working from home.

 

How to protect yourself and others

The guidance is taken from gov.uk and NHS official advice whose main message is:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people outside of your household – you can meet one person from outside your household as long as you remain 2 metres apart
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

As of 13 May, the government’s Plan to Rebuild advises that a face–covering should be worn in enclosed public spaces and clothes washed regularly. A face–covering, like a mask, is not mandatory, but if you can wear one then you should on public transport or in a shop. Children under two should not wear a face–covering. 

You can now spend more time outdoors and exercise as much as you like. You can also drive to outdoor open spaces regardless of distance. 

Vulnerable groups

Those in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable group’ – such as organ transplant recipients, those in chemotherapy, those receiving renal dialysis treatment – are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face–to–face contact; this is called ‘shielding’. These people should have received a letter from the NHS, their clinician or GP informing them that they are in this category.

You can access the government guidance on shielding the extremely clinically vulnerable here. It is likely that the government will continue to advise that the extremely clinically vulnerable be shielded beyond June – the end of the current 12 week period. 

The clinically vulnerable – those over the age of 70, those with specific chronic pre–existing conditions (such as diabetes and liver disease) and pregnant women – should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others, however they do not need to be shielded. 

Advice on avoiding contact with the coronavirus infection (COVID–19):

DO:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

  • avoid contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus

  • maintain social distance whenever possible of at least 2 metres when you are outdoors

  • only travel on public transport if you absolutely have to, such as going to work, providing care or help for a vulnerable person, or for medical reasons

  • work from home, unless it is absolutely necessary that you go to work

  • shop online if you can

  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

 DON’T:

  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

  • have visitors to your home, including friends and family

  • meet outdoors with more than one person from outside your household 

There are two main routes by which people can spread the virus:

–          Infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within two metres) or inhaled through lungs

–          Coming into contact with a surface or object touched by an infected person through respiratory secretions and then touching mouth, nose or eyes. 

There is currently little evidence that people who are without symptoms are infectious to others. Under most circumstances, the amount of infected virus on any contaminated surface is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours.

The following symptoms may develop after exposure to someone who has the coronavirus:

–          A new continuous cough

–          Difficulty in breathing

–          Fever/high temperature 

–          Loss of sense of smell or taste

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self–isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day one instead of day four for those affected by the coronavirus.

You can consult the government advice on decontamination for objects and surfaces that have come into contact with someone showing the symptoms of the virus.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people against all non–essential travel worldwide. 

The government has announced that arrivals to the UK will be told to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Arrivals from Ireland will not need to quarantine unless they have come in contact recently with someone with coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for the virus. 

<h2>Tips on working from home</h2>
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Tips on working from home

In light of Public Health England recommendations on working from home, Irish in Britain has compiled some tips to help make your experience as positive and productive as possible.

Read more