Keeping yourself as safe as you can

Whether or not you choose to go out, and how many people you choose to meet is a personal decision. To help you decide what you feel comfortable doing, we recap some of the main considerations and suggest things you can do to keep yourself safer.

On this page

Making informed choices

Meeting other people

Working

Going out

Symptoms

Other measures

Helpful resources

Back view of a man and a woman walking a dog. They are standing apart from each other. There are trees in the background.

Making informed choices

Everybody is likely to feel differently about the risk of coronavirus infection, and measures that can help protect you and others. Some people might be keen to return to a more 'normal' way of living, while others might be anxious about mixing with other people. There is no right or wrong way to feel. It is understandable that you might have mixed feelings, or feel differently at different stages of the pandemic.

Whether or not you choose to go out, and how many people you choose to meet at this time is a personal decision. To help you decide what you feel comfortable doing, we recap some of the main considerations and suggest things you can do to keep yourself safer.

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Meeting other people

Not seeing people in-person is challenging for many people. Although you might want to meet other people, you might also feel anxious about it. Remember that it is up to you whether or not you choose to see people socially. If you do, the following measures can help lower your risk:

  • Think about how many people you meet and don't feel pressure to see people if you don’t want to. It is up to you how many people you feel comfortable meeting. It’s safer to meet the same few people regularly than to meet lots of different people at different times.
  • Consider meeting outdoors to keep your risk as low as possible. If you choose to meet other people indoors, keep the windows open to let plenty of fresh air inside. You could choose to wear a face mask.
  • If you are meeting people you know well, you could ask if they'd consider wearing a face mask to help protect you, or if they'd be willing to take a lateral flow test before meeting up.
  • It’s a personal choice whether or not you keep your distance from friends and family. However, consider the risks carefully before making your decision, especially if you live in an area where coronavirus is spreading quickly.
  • Do not meet up with anybody who has symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature and/or a new, continuous cough and/or a loss of or change in sense of taste or smell) or has been told to isolate because they are a close contact of somebody who has COVID-19.

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Working

Depending on the sector you work in, it is likely that any return to the workplace will be gradual and cautious.

  • If you are able to work from home, you could ask your employer if you can continue to do so even if it is not required in your nation.
  • If you have to return to your workplace, speak to your employer to make sure there are measures in place to protect you. You might find it helpful to use our list of questions to ask. You could talk to a member of your HR department or union representative, if you have one. You can get more advice from ACAS, the Health and Safety Executive or Citizens Advice.
  • If you need support to work safely at home or in the workplace, you might be able to get help from Access to Work.
  • If you think your employer is treating you unfairly because of your lymphoma diagnosis, the Equality Advisory and Support Service offers free advice.
  • If you need to go to your workplace, consider taking a lateral flow test twice a week. Try to reduce your risk if you can by reducing your contact with other people, keeping a safe distance from them, wearing a face covering and keeping your workplace as well ventilated as possible.

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Going out

It is up to you whether or not you choose to go out more now that most venues have reopened. If you would like to visit more places but you’re anxious about coronavirus, there are things you can do to reduce your risk:

  • If you are visiting a public place, it is safer to visit at a quiet time of day if you can.
  • If you are eating out at a pub or restaurant, think about where you feel comfortable sitting. The risk is lowest outdoors. If you choose to sit indoors, try to find a quieter, well ventilated space if possible.
  • If you are planning a trip out, think about where you feel safe going. You could consider outdoor attractions, or larger, well ventilated venues where it’s easier to keep a safe distance from other people.
  • When you’re out in public, try to stay a safe distance away from other people. You might find our 'Distance Aware' badge a helpful way to remind others to give you space if they can. 
  • If you need to go to the shops, try to pick a quiet time of day. Remember you can still shop online if you prefer.
  • Avoid public transport if you can. If you can't avoid it, try to travel at quieter times of day.
  • Even if it is not required where you live, consider wearing a face covering on public transport, in shops, restaurants, pubs or other indoor public places where you are likely to come into contact with people you don't know.
  • Consider taking a lateral flow test before you meet other people.

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Symptoms

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature and/or a new, continuous cough and/or a loss of or change in sense of taste or smell):

You must also self-isolate if anybody in your household has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, unless you are exempt.

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Other measures

As well as thinking about your contact with other people, there are other measures you can take to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

  • Get vaccinated if you are able to.
  • Consider taking a rapid lateral flow test twice a week, and whenever you are meeting other people, to check if you have coronavirus even if you don't have symptoms.
  • Consider using the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • Wash your hands often using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser if hand-washing facilities aren’t available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze. If possible, use a tissue and throw it away straightaway.
  • Clean surfaces and frequently touched objects (for example, light switches, taps and door handles) often.

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Helpful resources

If you’d like to talk, contact our Helpline Services on freephone 0808 808 5555 from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, or via Live Chat through our website. You can also email us at information@lymphoma-action.org.uk.

You might find some of our other resources helpful:

The government has also produced guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus and Public Health England has created a visual guide to working and living safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restrictions are different for people living in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. You might also like to read the full government guidelines for people at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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