What is physical distancing? What is physical distancing? Physical distancing is about stopping the spread of COVID-19. It is often called social distancing - but we use the term physical distancing because we know it's important to maintain social links. Physical distancing means: Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough. Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour when possible. Working from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in small public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, bars and clubs (these are currently closed in the UK in order to mitigate such gatherings) Avoiding gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media. Using telephone or online services to contact your GP, other essential services and your friends & family. You can find out more about that on NHS Inform’s website here.