Judging risk when going out

Activities to help build confidence when making decisions during the coronavirus pandemic.


What is a personal risk judgement? 

We all have to make decisions about when we should leave our homes during this coronavirus outbreak. These are personal to each of us, as we all have different levels of concern or medical issues which we need to think about. This is our personal risk judgement. These activities will help you to make decisions about what is best for you. 

It is important to remain calm and think carefully about whether there are risks to you.  You should also make sure that you are following the latest government advice and rules. 

Making a decision

The list opposite outlines considerations you may have when leaving your home during the coronavirus outbreak. Read through  and see if any apply to you. What other factors might you need to consider when going out? 

What do you need to consider to keep safe? Which questions did you find most useful?  

If you have any medical concerns you should contact NHS 111 or your GP who will be able to give you advice.

What is safe to do? 

It is safer to be in open spaces, such as public parks, provided you and others maintain social distancing. Remember to cover your face and maintain good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly. Following the correct procedures when shopping or on public transport are important too.

If you are worried or stressed about going out or working during coronavirus, you can take this test, which will help provide reassurance.  

Remember, whatever decision you make, provided it follows the rules, is right for you. 

  • Do I or someone I live with need to shield?
  • Do I have to be in contact with older people or those with medical conditions?
  • Do I need to use public transport?
  • Can I work or shop from home?
  • When is the best or quietest time for me to go to the shops?
  • Does seeing or being in a place where there are many people bother me?
  • Can I lessen the risk of an activity or should I do something else?
  • How do I feel about wearing PPE or masks and whether others are wearing them? 

Coping around other people 

You may find that other people are not wearing masks or keeping social distance. Remember that there may be medical reasons for not wearing masks. We should try not to make judgements about other people or confront them.  

If the news or other people’s behaviour causes you concern, restrict the amount of social media or current affairs TV or radio you use and only take information from trusted sources.  

It is normal to be concerned about your safety. One way to feel calm if you feel worried is by taking the CALMER approach. Using it will help you to remember steps you can take when you or someone you know feels anxious or worried. 

Take a C.A.L.M.E.R approach

Consider your own needs, and those closest to you

cknowledge the source of stress, and how it impacts upon you

isten to how you’re feeling mentally and physically

anage ways to manage your stress and regain control

nable – what has enabled you to cope with stress in the past?

esource – what do you need to put steps in place?

How can this approach help you to feel less worried about making decisions?

How might this approach help you reflect on the choices of others?

How can you apply it to other areas in your life?

What could you do differently now?
You can find out more about C.A.L.M.E.R. here.


You can read other supporting British Red Cross supporting advice by clicking on Staying well and What is a healthy lifestyle?