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

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

If you think you or someone in your household has COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19:

  • You should Stay at home and self-isolate if you or any member of your household has a new continuous cough, a temperature or loss of, or change to your taste or smell.
  • Anybody with symptoms (new continuous cough, temperature or loss of, or change to taste or smell) should book a test as soon as possible.
  • You should follow advice if you are contacted and asked to self-isolate.

At all times:

  • Keep a social distance from people outside your household at all times, remembering over 2 metres and outside is best.
  • Where 2 metres is not possible, keep at least 1 meter with other measures in place. These include making sure there is no face to face close contact and keeping contact time to the minimum. Limit the number of people you come into contact with and only socialise or participate in activities in line with what you can and can’t do guidance
  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds. Undertake regular and thorough cleaning, including of your clothes.
  • Wear face coverings where they are required and recommended. Table A gives a summary of when and when not to wear face coverings.
  • Follow the advice provided to you when visiting other places.

Hand washing

One of the most important things 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. PPE should be used in line with national guidance for the role or activity. Key documents can be found here:

Outside health and social care settings the advice is that additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial for managing the risk of COVID-19. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace and needs to be managed through social distancing and hygiene measures. When PPE is recommended, it should be used alongside, and not replace, the control measures outlined above.

Public use of face coverings

The Government have mandated the use of face coverings in a range of public spaces and recommend their use in all enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible, or when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. Table A gives a summary of where face coverings must and should be worn. 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 from others. 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 or self-isolation. 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 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 for health, social care and community settings 

National PPE wholesalers are listed below.

Providers registered with the CQC can order 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 the relevant national guidance to confirm PPE is necessary for their role. PPE will be issued in line with national 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