We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert.

Key infection control measures and staying safe outside your home include:

  • Keeping your distance from people outside your household
  • Avoiding being face-to-face with people if they are outside your household or support bubble
  • Keeping your hands and face as clean as possible
  • Keeping indoor places will ventilated
  • Avoiding crowded spaces
  • Working from home if you can
  • If you have to travel (for example, to work or school), think about how and when you travel
  • Wearing a face covering on public transport
  • Avoiding shouting or singing close to people outside your household or support bubble
  • Reducing the number of people you spend time with in a work setting
  • Washing your clothes regularly
  • When at work or in business or public premises, follow the advice on site

Hand washing

The most important thing we can all do is still to wash our hands thoroughly and regularly through the day:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating or preparing food and after using public transport
  • always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze, then bin the tissue, and wash your hands with soap and water
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell

View the Public Health England poster on how to wash your hands.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plays a key role in infection prevention and control in health and social care settings if used effectively and alongside other vital infection prevention and control measures. We have produced a PPE guide for staff working in local authority, education, community and social care settings in Torbay. This is updated regularly in line with national guidance. A key message throughout is that, if the risk cannot be controlled in another way, PPE should be used as a last resort. Even then, PPE should be used alongside the control measures as outlined above.

Public use of face coverings

The Government recommend the use of face coverings when in an enclosed space where social distancing is not possible, or when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. From the 15th of June face coverings will be mandatory on all public transport (i.e.trains, planes, ferries, trams, buses and coaches). Hospital visitors and outpatients will also be required to wear face coverings.  A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by health and social care workers. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace. Guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering is available.

Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.

It is essential that face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household must isolate at home in line with the stay at home guidance. face coverings do not change this.

Face coverings do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices and retail or by those who may find them difficult to wear (for example children or anyone with breathing problems).

Access to PPE

Small residential social care providers (24 beds or fewer) and domiciliary social care providers (99 beds or fewer) can access emergency supplies through the national PPE portal. Eligible organisations should have received an invitation to register via their email account registered with the Care Quality Commission. If you think you are eligible, but have not been invited, you can contact the customer service team on 0800 876 6802.

Torbay Council and partners are supporting access to PPE for those not unable to access PPE through alternative means (e.g the PPE portal, the NHS supply chain or their usual channels). We ask that those in need of PPE:

  1. Review our PPE guide to confirm PPE is necessary for their role. PPE will be issued in line with this guidance.
  2. Access via their usual channel if this is available to them.
  3. Contact the following suppliers to access national stock directly.
  4. Use the contacts below only once 2 and 3 have been attempted.

When making a request for PPE you will be asked about:

  • Your current stock of PPE
  • Your daily usage and need based on recommendations within the guidance (or national guidance if your service is not covered by the local document)
  • The avenues you have already explored.


National PPE Wholesalers