Advice from the four nations on the coronavirus pandemic

Here we take you through the latest public health guidance on what you should be doing during the coronavirus outbreak and break this down to the specifics of each nation.

Page last reviewed: 3 August 2020 

Across the UK  some restrictions are being relaxed. It is important to know that governments in England,  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have each taken different approaches for their citizens, partly because they believe that the level of infection - and therefore the risk - will differ.   

The appropriate authority for each country has identified key steps, we have used exact wording from each nation's official guidance below:  


Help control the virus 

To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must: 

  • wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly 
  • cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces 
  • make space - stay at least a metre away from people not in your household 
  • If you are feeling unwell, get a test and do not leave home for at least 10 days.

Full details can be found on  


Stay safe, protect others, save lives.

You should:

  • wear a face covering 
  • avoid crowded places 
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly 
  • stay 2m away from other people 
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms 

Full details can be found  at


Keep Wales safe:

  • always observe social distancing 
  • wash your hands regularly 
  • if you meet another household, outside your extended household, stay outdoors 
  • work from home if you can 
  • Stay at home and get tested if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms. 

Full details can be found at and Welsh Government guidance on extended households  

Northern Ireland 

Everyone must help stop coronavirus spreading. This means you need to: 

  • Stay at home as much as possible 
  • limit contact with other people 
  • keep your distance if you do go out (stay 2 metres apart) 
  • wash your hands well and often 
  • work from home if you can 
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. If you have symptoms you should book a free test.

Full details can be found at

What you can and can’t do socially will depend on who you are and where you live 

You can find more detailed up to date information for each country below: 

Visit our coronavirus and mental health hub for tips on staying well during these uncertain times: coronavirus hub

The Mental Health Foundation is committed to bringing readers reliable and relevant information. All of our pages are written and regularly reviewed by our mental health experts, in line with official advice on the coronavirus outbreak.

We need your support to keep providing vital information during this time.

Please consider making a donation today