Everyone should avoid non-essential contact with others to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the prime minister has said.
As schools shut and some people work from home, many are feeling cut off from their everyday hobbies and social lives.
But the internet offers a means to stay connected and to keep us all entertained and educated through the days of isolation.
Here are just some of the ways people are already using technology to lift their spirits.
Groups have also been finding innovative ways to socialise, hosting dinner parties and even Brownies meetings online.
Goose’s Quizzes usually runs 45 pub quizzes in Scotland, but has started doing live online sessions every night, with hundreds participating.
“It’s been a pretty bad couple of weeks and pub quizzes bring the community together,” says Andrew Wildgoose, founder of Goose’s Quizzes.
“So we wanted to find a way for people to still enjoy them.”
Even book clubs are operating digitally, with private WhatsApp groups forming to share reading lists and Rebel Book Club launching a 14-day free reading challenge for anyone who needs extra accountability.
People have also been downloading the free Google Chrome extension Netflix Party, which allows users to watch Netflix together.
It synchronises screens and creates a group chat to communicate.
For those craving some culture, museums and galleries have been posting on social media under the hashtag #museumfromhome, showcasing their collections.
Are you ready? Starting today, we’ll take you on a tour, one gallery at a time. #MuseumFromHome— National Gallery of Art (@ngadc) March 15, 2020
Our tour begins on the Ground Floor of the West Building in gallery 39. Here’s a quick look at gallery 39 in under 15 seconds. pic.twitter.com/zX8bCyNnxo
#MuseumFromHome— Sacha Coward (@sacha_coward) March 16, 2020
Whilst we’re self isolating, some of us museum weirdos have decided to make quick videos about our favourite museum artefacts. So if you can’t go to a museum, let’s bring the museum to you!
First up: The Titanic Pig from @RMGreenwich in 60 seconds
🐷🚢 🎶🌛 pic.twitter.com/jmwormRxaE
Alrighty then, here’s my addition to #MuseumFromHome which might be breaking new speed(o) limits for how much stuff I can cram into a minute!— Dan Vo (@DanNouveau) March 16, 2020
My not so deep dive into the work of the first Aussie artist to be collected by @V_and_A Peter Travis 👍🏽🏳️🌈🏛
https://t.co/opuouCyO6S https://t.co/opuouCyO6S pic.twitter.com/3WGWJaxbdY
One exhibition at God’s House Tower in Southampton is having a “virtual launch” on Saturday, as the venue has shut due to coronavirus.
“We’re really devastated that the venue has to close temporarily,” says Daniel Crow, director of the gallery.
“Hopefully, this will allow people around the world, not just those local, to see it.
“It really does herald a new era in God’s House Tower’s fascinating 700-year-old history by presenting art exhibitions online.”
Exercise classes have moved from gyms to online, creating videos or “lives” on Instagram and Facebook.
Many fitness clubs, including Barry’s, Crossfit and David Lloyd, are providing online workouts people can do at home.
Amanda Dufour, a yoga instructor who is currently self-isolating, has filmed YouTube videos to follow and has been teaching classes via Zoom and Skype.
“The best thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere, with no equipment,” she says.
“It really gives you a chance to take a break from work, stay calm and process everything that’s going on.
“Stretching can make a big difference if you’re hunched up on a laptop all day at home.”
Free video appointments with vets are also being offered on the FirstVet app until the end of April.
Users are paired with a qualified vet who can give advice and refer the patient to a physical service if necessary.
David Prien, the firm’s co-founder, says there’s been an 80% rise in people using the app over the past few weeks.
“Just because you’re in isolation doesn’t mean your pet stays healthy,” he adds, noting that it also gives vets who are housebound something to keep them occupied.
People are also signing up to dog-walking apps, such as Borrow My Doggy, to walk the pets of those who cannot because of new working arrangements or self-isolation.
Coronavirus silver linings for Emma and Charlie: dramatic uptick in the number of enthusiastic weekday Borrow My Doggy friends 😬 pic.twitter.com/Ib75Z7vTNW— Emma Charleston (@undividual) March 16, 2020
Following food shortages in supermarkets, foodies are getting creative online, posting tips for alternative ingredients and recipes with a limited food cupboard.
Local Asda yesterday was out of tinned tomatoes, and passata, and puree. Even the expensive brands.— 🌈👩🍳📚Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) March 15, 2020
But next row along, they had a full shelf of Smartprice bolognese sauce. So I got that instead. You can use it in place of tinned toms in almost anything.
What are some things you’ve been wanting to learn in the kitchen, now that we’re all spending more time at home? Let me know & I’ll try to post! For now, here’s my super easy method for making your own puff pastry… Full video: https://t.co/Xq3MochID3 pic.twitter.com/IanTQIsHgL— Pati Jinich (@PatiJinich) March 16, 2020
Nia Williams, director of Slow Food Wales, a grassroots movement that promotes local food and traditional cooking, is making video guides on how to grow fruit and vegetables at home.
“We’ve had so much freedom and access in our lives recently, so now people have gone into shock,” Nia says.
“I’m making these videos so families have something to do but to also empower them to have a bit more control over their food and situation.”
Finally, for those wishing to add a touch of class to their nights in, the Champagne Bureau has this handy guide to pairing champagne with your takeaway of choice.
Self distancing and looking to lift your spirits? Here’s our mini-guide to pairing champagne with your favourite takeaway dishes:— Champagne Bureau UK (@Champagne_UK) March 19, 2020
• Fish & Chips – Blanc de Blancs
• Burger – Vintage / Blanc de Noirs
• Sushi – Zero Dosage
• Mexican / fruity dessert – Rosé
• Pizza – Brut NV pic.twitter.com/hnfsyhm1Qy
“Champagne is a versatile wine which enhances our everyday meals,” says Francoise Peretti, director of the UK division.
“As we face these times of uncertainty and self-isolate, it will provide the joyful lift we all need,”