Social distancing means maintaining distance between yourself and other people outside of your household or outside of your support bubble. Everyone in the UK must practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
England is currently operating under national lockdown rules with everyone required to stay at home except for essential activities that cannot be undertaken at home such as shopping for basic necessities, exercising once a day, childcare and healthcare assistance and to avoid injury and harm (including domestic violence). You can find out more about the guidance you should follow on the government website.
In Wales, there is currently a level 4 alert, meaning people must stay at home except for certain limited purposes and must not socialise or mix with anyone they do not live with or anyone outside of their support bubble (if applicable). The government's National guidance advises people to carry out the following:
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 every should continue to:
If you or someone in your household have COVID-19 symptoms or if any of you have been identified as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' please take a look at our self-isolation and shielding pages for further information.
If you have Huntington's disease and find it difficult to maintain social distancing, you may find the below Government produced resources useful to signal to those around you that they need to give you space.
The government has produced card templates and mobile phone images to be used if you or a loved one has difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing.
Wearing a face covering helps to stop the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are wearing a mask or face covering, you should still keep your distance and follow good hygiene.
In England people, over the age of 11 years, are required by law to wear a face mask or covering in many indoor settings. You can see the full list here. In Wales, face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces. You can read more here.
There are some limited exemptions to the wearing of face masks and this includes:
If you are able to wear a face mask you should, as this offers the most protection. However, if you or a someone you know has Huntington's disease and would find wearing a face mask or face covering difficult for one of the reasons above, the following exemption cards and resources may be useful to help explain Huntington's disease to anyone that might challenge the fact that a mask isn't being worn. The use of such cards is a personal choice and is not necessary by law.
Our 'I have Huntington's' I.d card explains at a glance what Huntington's is and provides space for details of who to contact in an emergency. It can be worn on a lanyard or carried. Click on the link for details of how to order your free card.
We have created an information sheet that you can show to anyone that may challenge you for not wearing a mask if you are exempt. This can be used in conjunction with the 'I have Huntington's' card above. Click on the link to download your copy.
|Hidden disabilities have produced an exemption card available to order from their shop for a small fee. Click on the link for more information.|
Hidden disabilities have produced a hidden disability sunflower lanyard available to order from their shop for a small fee. This lanyard is recognised in many airports and shops and highlights to staff that the person may require additional assistance. Click on the link for more information.
These lanyards can also be obtained from participating Tesco and Sainsbury's stores via the Customer Service desk.
|The government has produced template exemption cards and mobile phone images for people to use if they would find wearing a mask or face covering difficult for the above reasons.|
If you have Huntington's or someone you know has Huntington's and wearing a mask is possible but perhaps it is uncomfortable or difficult to remember to wear one, you could try the following strategies before deciding not to wear a mask and using an exemption card:
A face covering is not the same as the medical-grade surgical masks used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Face masks and coverings are now widely available to purchase in a number of shops, supermarkets and pharmacies in both disposable and reusable formats. Alternatively, you can use a bandana, a scarf or make your own - the government has provided guidance on how to do this here. If you already wear a religious garment that covers your mouth and nose, this counts as a face covering for this purpose and you do not have to wear another.
When using face masks and face coverings it is important to wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off. If your mask / covering is reusable you should wash it after each use.
The Huntington's Disease Association has a new range of face masks and face coverings which will be available to purchase from our online shop now. Please note our face masks and face coverings are not medical grade and should not and do not take the place of PPE equipment. They are single-ply. You should not rely on our face masks or face coverings alone to protect you from COVID-19. You should continue to follow all government guidance including maintaining social distancing and practising good hand hygiene.
In England and Wales, you can create a support bubble with one other household if you wish to, but one of the households in the ‘support bubble’ should be a single adult household (i.e an adult living alone or with children under 18 only). You can spend time together outside and inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance.
Guidance on social contact is changing frequently with national and local restrictions in place. We recommend you follow current government guidance for England and Wales on their respective web pages.
There are precautions you should take when you do spend time outside of your home, when safe to do so in accordance with local guidance: