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25 February 2020

PHE issues initial COVID-19 guidance for social care settings

Introduced by

Public Health England

Targeted at

Social, community and residential care employers


Published on 25 February. Withdrawn on 13 March 2020 and superseded by residential care, supported living and home care guidance

Stated aims

To assist employers in providing advice to their staff on preventing the spread of COVID-19


Public Health England (PHE) issues COVID-19 guidance for social care settings. The guidance advises that – based on the data available at the time – ‘it is […] very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected’, and ‘there is no need to do anything differently in any care setting at present’.

The guidance covers:

  • principles to prevent the spread of infection, including hand washing/face touching, staying home if unwell
  • face masks, including guidance that masks are only recommended to be worn by infected individuals when advised by a health care worker
  • what to do if an employee becomes unwell and believes they have been exposed to COVID-19
  • returning from travel overseas to affected areas, including those returning from Wuhan, China
  • what to do if someone with confirmed COVID-19 has recently been in the office, workplace or residential setting, including that closure is not recommended.

Gov.uk guidance