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: 23 September 2020 

It is important to note 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:  


There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other 

  • Wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly 
  • Cover face  - wear a face covering in enclosed spaces 
  • Make space - stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions 

Find out what you need to do 

  • You must not meet in groups larger than 6 (with some limited exceptions)  


New rules mean that you must not make indoor social visits to other households. To stay safe and protect others, please follow these stricter rules now. From 25 September, pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm. Read more about the new measures. 

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

See what you can and cannot do to help suppress the virus.


Find out about local coronavirus restrictions

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

Northern Ireland 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations guidance: what the restrictions mean for you 

  • Since 28 March 2020 various health protection regulations have been in place to help reduce the spread coronavirus and bring the epidemic to an end as soon as possible. This page explains what the current regulations and restrictions mean for you.

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.

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