What is social distancing?
We know that Coronaviruses are spread when people with the virus have close, sustained contact with people who are not infected. This typically means spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of an infected person, such as talking to someone.
Social distancing is essential to stop the spread of the virus in areas where community transmission is present, as it is more likely to spread when people are close together. An infected person can pass on the virus through talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing even if they do not have any symptoms.
When you should practise social distancing
In the Isle of Man, social distancing is not currently a requirement, however remaining mindful of your surroundings and continuing to make space has a powerful impact when it comes to containing the spread.
You should think about incorporating social distancing into your everyday life by maintaining a distance of 2 metres from anyone outside of your household.
When with people you do not live with, you should also avoid:
- physical contact
- being close and face-to-face
- shouting or singing close to them
You should also avoid crowded areas with lots of people; and touching things that other people have touched.
Where you cannot stay 2 metres apart you should stay more than 1 metre apart, and take additional steps to stay safe. For example:
- wear a face covering on public transport and in many indoor spaces
- go outdoors, where it is safer and there is more space
- if indoors, make sure rooms have a flow of fresh air by keeping windows and doors open
You do not need to be socially distanced from anyone in your household, meaning the people you live with. However, if you are self-isolating you should stay away from other family/household members as far as is practicable to reduce the risk of spreading infection.