Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

MP For North Swindon

Coronavirus FAQs

Social distancing

What are the new rules?

From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes.

This change will simplify and clarify the rules on social gatherings, so they are easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce.

There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups.

This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together. Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30. From Monday, this limit will be enforceable in law. See refreshed guidance on social contact, including the exceptions to the 6 person limit.

Can I be fined?

Police have the powers to break up groups larger then six people, and member of the group can be fined £100 for their first offence, doubling every time after that to a maximum of £3,200.

Organisers of large gatherings can also be fined up to £10,000

Will all social events of more than 6 people be allowed?

The only exceptions are: If your household bubble is more than 6 people Where gatherings are for work or education Weddings and funerals Team sport where measures have been taken to limit the spread of Coronavirus.

What is the guidance on social distancing?

2 meters is still the recommended social distancing. If it is not possible to keep 2 meters distance then the guidance is “1.5 meters plus”, meaning if you can’t keep 2 metre distance then additional measures should be taken (face covering, etc…)

Do I have to social distance myself from everyone? The only people you do not have to distance yourself from are those you live with. If you are a single adult living alone or single parents with children under 18 can you can "bubble" with one other household of any size with no social distancing. However, these “bubbles” must be exclusive – you cannot leave one and create another with a different household.

Symptoms and self-isolating

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

new continuous cough high temperature loss of, or change in your normal sense of taste or smell

What if I get symptoms?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

All other household members need to stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period.

Consider alerting people who you do not live with and have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19. At this stage, those people should not self-isolate. Alerting those that you have been in contact with means they can take extra care in practising social distancing and good hand and respiratory hygiene. They can also be more alert to any symptoms they might develop.

How should I self-isolate?

You and everyone else in your household needs to remain at home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.

Nobody should go out even to buy food or other essentials, and any exercise should be taken within your home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, it is important to reduce the spread of infection to others in your household as much as possible. You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window to the outside that can be opened, separate from other people in your home if this is possible. Keep the door closed. Use separate bathrooms, if possible – if not, ensure they are thoroughly cleaned after use. Wash your hands often for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze – throw away tissue immediately and wash your hands

When should I stop isolating?

After 10 days, if the first person to become ill feels better and no longer has symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste they can return to their normal routine.

Everyone else in the household who remains well should end their isolation after 14 days. This 14-day period starts from the day the first person in the household became ill.

If anyone in the household becomes unwell during the 14-day period, they should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19. If their test result is positive, they need to follow the same advice for people with COVID-19 symptoms – that is, after 10 days of their symptoms starting, if they feel better and no longer have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste – they can also return to their normal routine. However, if their test result is negative, they need to continue with isolation as part of the household for the full 14 days.

Should someone develop COVID-19 symptoms late in the 14-day household isolation period (for example, on day 10 or later) the isolation period for the rest of the household does not need to be extended. Only the person with new COVID-19 symptoms has to stay at home for at least a further 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19.

At the end of the 14-day period, anyone in the household who has not become unwell can return to their normal routine.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms again at any point after ending your first period of staying at home (self-isolation or household isolation), follow this guidance on self-isolation again.


When should I get a test?

If you have any of the symptoms previously mentioned you can get a free test to check if you currently have coronavirus (COVID-19). You can book a test either by calling 119 or via: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

What if I test positive?

People who have tested positive will receive a text, email or phone call requesting that they log into the NHS Test and Trace website to create a confidential account where they can record details about their recent close contacts. If you do not have access to the internet, then you will be phoned by a contact tracer working for the NHS Test and Trace service. The information you provide will be handled in strict confidence and will enable the NHS Test and Trace service to contact those people and provide them with advice on whether they should go into self-isolation. The people contacted will not be told your identity, but by alerting them when you first develop symptoms, you can help make sure that they are prepared for being contacted by the Test and Trace service.

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