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Living with multiple people

Staying safe in shared housing and preventing the spread of coronavirus can be more difficult when you’re living in close proximity to other people. Take these extra steps to keep yourself and others safe.

Regularly clean your shared flat or house

  • Use hot water and disinfectant to clean all surfaces – particularly in shared areas like kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms
  • Take extra care to clean areas that you touch regularly like door handles, cupboards, kettles, toasters, bottle openers and washing machines
  • Avoid sharing hand towels and regularly wash tea-towels where germs can linger. If you can, air dry dishes instead and use paper towels to dry your hands

Have a plan in case you or your housemates develop coronavirus symptoms

If you develop symptoms, it’s very important that you and your housemates stay at home to help prevent the spread of the virus. This means not leaving your house or flat at all.

  • Set up a group chat with your housemates so that if one of you develops symptoms, you can let each other know straight away without face-to-face contact
  • Identify a nearby friend or neighbour who can help with picking up essentials if you and your housemates need to self-isolate

If you develop symptoms:

  • Self-isolate for 10 days and organise a test by calling 119 or via
  • Let your housemates and anyone you’ve been in close contact with in the past 48 hours know so they can look out for symptoms
  • Stay in your room with your door closed as much as you can and try to avoid shared spaces.
  • Try to keep the areas you touch clean – like door handles and light switches – and avoid sharing toothpaste with your housemates

If you’re living with someone who develops symptoms, you should:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days
  • Take extra care to keep your house or flat clean
  • Wash your hands more regularly – particularly after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose
  • Keep an eye on the person who’s got symptoms to make sure they’re ok – while maintaining a safe distance from them. For example, consider leaving meals outside their bedroom door so they don’t need to use the kitchen

Be kind and look after each other

  • Following public health advice will reduce your risk of catching coronavirus but it won’t eliminate the risk completely. If someone you know or live with develops symptoms make sure to check if they’re ok and see if you can help with anything
  • Remember that some people – including those with disabilities that aren’t visible - are exempt from wearing face coverings

The council is here to help

We know that this is a challenging time for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re struggling to cope with the death of a loved one, you’re worried about housemates not following public health advice, you’re concerned about your finances or you need support to self-isolate, call the Council on 020 7527 8222.

You can also go to to find out more – including information and guidance for tenants.

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