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The difference between social distancing and self-isolation
Social distancing and self-isolation will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 between people.

Government advice for all UK residents

The UK government has asked everyone in the country to practise social distancing, limiting contact with other people and avoiding unnecessary travel. Whereas anyone displaying flu-like symptoms – or anyone living with someone who is – is being told to self-isolate. This article will clarify what these two phrases mean for all of us.


Social distancing

Everyone in the UK is being asked to take social distancing steps, to reduce transmission of COVID-19 between people. Social distancing means trying to avoid contact with other people by avoiding public spaces where possible. The government issued guidance states that this should include:

  • avoiding contact with anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19
  • limiting use of public transport
  • working from home, where possible
  • avoiding social venues such as pubs, clubs and theatres.

These actions should be carried out in addition to increased handwashing and good respiratory hygiene. The government is advising people who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to be particularly strict in following social distancing measures.



According to the government advice, anyone experiencing a persistent cough or high temperature should self-isolate at home for seven days. The NHS has stated that after seven days, if you still have a cough but no temperature, you no longer need to stay at home.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, the government states that you should self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started, as it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

Self-isolation will help to contain any possible cases of COVID-19 and will limit the spread to other people, most crucially, those who are considered ‘at risk’.

If you are self-isolating, you should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. In practical terms this means you should:

  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport
  • avoid having visitors at your home
  • ask friends and family members to retrieve essentials like groceries and medications. Or use delivery services.

People who are self-isolating are being asked not to call their GP or NHS 111 to report their symptoms. If your condition worsens or you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, government guidance states that you should use the NHS 111 online service or call 111 if you cannot get help online.

For more information, please visit


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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for three months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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News Shorts
LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact