Living in a house share comes with its many advantages during these unprecedented times, providing cheaper living and support when needed. However, there are still many precautions to take when living in a HMO property, here are our top tips for managing COVID-19 in a house share.
If you or one of your housemates is showing Coronavirus symptoms, you must self-isolate immediately and book a test. It is also likely that the people you are living with have already been infected and will be carrying the virus, so they too should quarantine and not leave the house for 10 days, following the government guidelines. You should work from home when possible and only travel for essential journeys, such as grocery shopping and medical appointments.
Please also inform your property managers & landlords of any symptoms to ensure no one from the outside enters the property during your self-isolation period.
If any housemates have tested positive for Coronavirus or are showing symptoms, it is also recommended that each housemate has their own kitchen utensils, such as plates, mugs and cutlery, cleaning supplies as well as bathroom hand towels and toiletries. All shopping and cooking should be done for the COVID positive persons via delivery to avoid any further transmission to the other housemates.
Hygiene & Cleaning
To reduce the risk of infection you must:
Wash your hands thoroughly, especially when first entering the property after being outside, this is the best way to ensure no outside germs will enter and spread throughout the property. It is also beneficial to have hand sanitisers in communal spaces for all to use freely.
Clean all shared spaces regularly; the kitchen, bathrooms and any other communal areas should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly to ensure any germs are killed before they have the opportunity to spread. Door handles and light switches should also be cleaned daily to reduce the spread of germs.
Keep shared spaces well ventilated - this is also a great way of reducing the spread of COVID-19, so leaving windows and doors open slightly during the day is recommended.
High Risk Housemates
If any of your housemates are considered to be of high risk due to underlying health conditions, you must be extra cautious when sharing the communal areas; always keep a 2-metre distance from your housemates to ensure optimal safety, ensure all areas are cleaned thoroughly and limit your contact with others outside the home.
Visitors and Overnight Guests
Having visitors and guests to the property is strictly against government guidelines and increases the risk of bringing Coronavirus into the home. Respect the safety of your housemates by reducing contact with others outside the property and refrain from bringing anyone else onto the premises.
Following guidelines is the best way to ensure your house stays COVID-19 free. To keep up to date with the government guidelines regarding the Coronavirus crisis, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
For extra support considering the COVID-19 crisis and mental health visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus/