How do I practice social distancing?

In order to protect the NHS and save lives it is vital that we follow government guidelines on social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus (Covid-19).

If possible, avoid leaving your home and make use of local and national resources to support you in your house.

If you need to go out for a walk or to access essential goods, there isn't an issue for you to be guided by a member of your household. If you do not have anyone within your household to guide you, the government guidance is to maintain a 2 metre distance, so guiding should be avoided where possible. For further information on guiding see How can I be guided safely during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic?

If you are unable to gauge whether you are maintaining the recommended distance from someone outside of your home environment, you may want to implement the following suggestions:

  • Make regular announcements letting others know of your proximity and that you are unaware of theirs
  • Use your symbol cane when out and about so others are aware that you have sight loss
  • Ensure to carefully wash/sanitise your hands before leaving your home and as soon as you return for 20 seconds to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to a minimum
  • Avoid touching your face or touching anyone in your household and if you need to touch surfaces, ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Guide Dogs have some tips on how you can make some of these restrictions work for you, including how to get your daily exercise and how to go food shopping. Further information including a series of instructional videos on how to guide, that members of your household may find helpful can be found on the Guide Dogs website or you can call their Covid-19 sight loss telephone information line on 0800 781 1444.

Further details about social distancing from the government, can be found on the gov.uk coronavirus web page, along with additional information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you need further advice or support during this time, please call RNIB on 0303 123 9999.

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