This guidance may change and people are advised to check often to keep up with the latest advice.
Coronaviruses can be spread when people with the virus have close, sustained contact with people who are not infected. Typically this means spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of an infected person, such as talking to someone. The more you come into contact with the droplets from coughs and sneezes of an infected person, the more likely you are to catch the infection. This is the reason why people who either have the infection or show symptoms are being asked to self-isolate - to reduce the risk of infecting others.
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.