Guidance: Stay alert and safe: social distancing guidance for young people

Cabinet Office

September 9
18:35 2020


This guidance applies in England young people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus that causes illness in people by affecting their lungs and therefore their breathing. The virus can be spread from person to person by coughing or touching your eyes, nose or mouth with hands that have been contaminated by the virus. The name COVID-19 comes from Coronavirus Disease 2019 it was named in December 2019. This guidance will refer to this as coronavirus (COVID-19).

All of us, including young people, have helped to reduce the spread of coronavirus. We have done this by making changes to our lives and following the guidance. As we move to the next stage of controlling coronavirus, it is important that we stay alert and follow the guidance in order to save lives. By alert we mean being aware of how to behave safely and keeping up to date with the latest government guidance.

The government has developed a plan to allow people to gradually go back to the way they were living before coronavirus. This will not be happening immediately, and may happen in different stages for different people. Our goal is to stay alert, control the virus, save lives.

To stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading, everyone should be staying at home as much as possible. Some young people, who are clinically extremely vulnerable, should stay at home all the time. This is called shielding. Guidance on shielding for these clinically extremely vulnerable young people is available here.

This guidance is about social distancing and what you can do to stay alert and safe during this time, and explains the new measures that will help you to stay safe as rules on being outside, or at school or work, change.

Published 24 May 2020
Last updated 9 September 2020 +show all updates
  1. Page updated in line with latest government guidance.

  2. Page updated in line with the most recent government guidance.

  3. HTML version added.

  4. First published.

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