Coronavirus Guidelines for SSiW meet-ups

13/03/2020 - Following the Cobra meeting yesterday, experts and government officials have now changed their ‘stay at home’ advice for the general public. Please click on the following link for updated information -

11/03/2020 - The World Health Organisation classify the virus as a pandemic


Dear all,

In light of recent developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, we thought that we should supply basic guidelines for anyone attending regular meet-ups/groups/educational facilities, as laid out by the NHS and government. Please take time to read through the following with care and consider exercising the advice given when attending meet-ups or activities in public places. Diolch.

Information about the virus

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.

The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. Scientists have now confirmed It takes five days on average for people to start showing the symptoms of coronavirus.

Please note -

Experts initially told us that there was no good evidence to prove that people who did not have symptoms were infectious to others.

But the Italian National Institute for Health have revealed that almost half of those who have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy show “no or minimal symptoms”.

Experts now believe most people who get the infection will only have mild disease. Some will be asymptomatic, i.e carrying the virus but experiencing no symptoms.

But the disease can be very serious and even deadly for some - typically elderly people with preexisting health conditions.

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who
has COVID-19 infection:

  • cough
  • difficulty in breathing
  • fever

Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

How COVID-19 is spread

From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (termed respiratory secretions) containing the virus are most likely to be the most important means of transmission.

There are 2 routes by which people could become infected:

  • secretions can be directly transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or could be inhaled into the lungs
  • it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face).

Preventing spread of infection

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • washing your hands often - with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin.
  • people who feel unwell should stay at home and should not attend work or any education or childcare setting
  • people should wash their hands:

before leaving home
on arrival at meeting place
after using the toilet
before eating any food, including snacks
before leaving meeting place

  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • if you are worried about your symptoms please call NHS Direct or call the NHS 111 service - Get medical help - NHS 111.
  • Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
  • see further information on the weblink Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS

Face masks for the general public, are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.

People who have returned from Category 1 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days should self-isolate. This includes avoiding attending an education setting or work until 14 days after they return.

People who have returned from Category 2 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days, are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms.