How can I lower my risk?

Find out how to lower your risk from COVID-19 and when you should wear a face covering. 

Lowering your risk from COVID-19

If you’re at high-risk from COVID-19, the best way to lower your risk of becoming seriously ill is by getting vaccinated. We have more information about the COVID-19 vaccine.  

Being up to date with your vaccines could stop you having COVID-19 at the same time as other infections. It’s safe to have the flu vaccine, pneumonia vaccine and COVID- 19 vaccine at the same time.

COVID-19 spreads when people with the virus breathe, speak, cough or sneeze and release droplets containing the virus into the air. You can help reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 by:

  • washing your hands regularly, using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze
  • cleaning surfaces in your home often, especially if they are touched a lot.

If you smoke, the best thing to do for your health is stop smoking. Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to protect yourself from viral infections, including coronavirus.

Should I wear a face covering?

Face coverings, when worn correctly, can reduce the spread of COVID-19.

You might want to wear a face mask when:

  • you’re meeting someone who is at high-risk from COVID-19
  • you’re meeting people in crowded spaces  
  • other cold and flu virus rates are high, such as in winter.

If you have a lung condition, you might want to wear a face covering more often, such as when you are in shops, on public transport, or in other indoor or crowded places.

Most people with a lung condition, even if it’s severe, can manage to wear a face mask for a short period of time. When worn properly, a face mask does not reduce a person’s oxygen supply or cause a build-up of carbon dioxide.

You can also wear a Distance Aware badge to help others understand that you would still prefer to social distance.

Get support

Call or WhatsApp our Helpline for support with your condition. Get advice on your medicines, symptoms or travelling with a lung condition, or just call us to say hello.

Did you find this information useful?

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 0300 222 5800 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

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