Easy read guides to help you stay safe and well

Take a look at the headings below and the links to easy read guides underneath.

Local COVID alert levels

Local COVID alert levels have been introduced in England to stop coronavirus spreading quickly, especially in places where there are a lot of cases.

The 3 alert levels are mediumhigh and very high. The more cases there are in your area, the higher the alert level will be.

You can find out the alert level in your area by using this postcode checker on the GOV.uk website.

Each level has a different set of rules.

We have made easy read guides for the rules at each level, click the links below to view each guide:


Some people are more likely to become very poorly if they get coronavirus. The government has made some rules for these people to follow to help keep them safe.

We have made this easy read guide to explain the rules and who should be following them (PDF).

People with Down's syndrome

The shielding guidance applies to people with Down's syndrome.

The Department for Health and Social Care have created this easy read document for people with Down's syndrome (PDF).

This guide explains what might happen if you catch coronavirus and you have Down's syndrome.


About self-isolating if you live on your own (PDF) 

About self-isolating if you live with other people (PDF)

Social distancing

About social distancing if you live with other people (PDF)

A guide to the 2 metre and 1 metre plus social distancing rules (PDF)

The government have created these signs that can be used to show the carrier may have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing.

Face coverings

This PDF easy read guide explains what face coverings are, including why and how they should be worn.

There are different rules for wearing face coverings depending on where you are. 

We have created this PDF easy read guide on face coverings rules for people living in England. (Please see separate guidance for people in Northern Ireland (PDF) and Wales.)

People who do not have to wear a face covering

This guidance explains why some people do not have to wear face coverings.(For example; because you have a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering, or because it causes severe distress).

If you do not have to wear a face covering, there are cards (sometimes called "exemption cards") that you can take with you when you go out to help explain why, if someone asks you in public. The cards can also be used to ask someone else to remove their face mask or covering so you can understand them better.

Please use these cards if you need them:

Keeping safe

Top tips to keeping safe from coronavirus (PDF)

Public transport

Ways to help you travel safely on public transport (PDF)

Moving into a new home

Easy read guide to moving into a new home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (PDF)

Going to work or working from home

How to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic (PDF)

How to make online meetings accessible (PDF)

Traffic light cards to help you communicate in meetings (PDF)

Test and trace

About the NHS Test and Trace application (PDF)

What to do if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace (PDF)

The NHS have also created easy read posters like this (PDF) so people know when and how to get a test for coronavirus.

Food shopping

We've created some letters for you or your support worker to use to contact your local supermarket and find out when their priority shopping hours are, and if they can provide support with your shopping:

Help with shopping letter from a person with a learning disability (PDF)

Help with shopping letter from a support worker (PDF)

List of supermarket details

You can check for the latest information and find contact details for the major UK supermarkets on their websites.  

Aldi: www.aldi.co.uk

Asda: www.asda.com

Best-One: www.best-one.co.uk

Budgens: www.budgens.co.uk

Co-Op: www.coop.co.uk  

Costco: www.costco.co.uk

Costcutter: www.costcutter.co.uk

Farmfoods: www.farmfoods.co.uk 

Iceland: www.iceland.co.uk

Lidl: www.lidl.co.uk

Londis: www.londis.co.uk

Makro: www.makro.co.uk

Marks and Spencer: www.marksandspencer.com

Morrisons: groceries.morrisons.com  

Nisa: www.nisalocally.co.uk

Ocado: accounts.ocado.com

Premier: www.premier-stores.co.uk

Sainsbury’s: www.sainsburys.co.uk

To try and prioritise vulnerable customers for home delivery, Sainsburys has a vulnerable persons careline: 0800 052 5500. (There may be long call wait times.)  

Spar: www.spar.co.uk 

Tesco: www.tesco.com

Waitrose: www.waitrose.com


We know that people with a learning disability already experience high levels of loneliness and social isolation and that this will only have been made worse by coronavirus and lockdown.

Befriending can help. 

So please get in touch with us to:

  • see what befriending options are available in your area
  • find out more about befriending volunteer opportunities
  • tell us about your befriending scheme if you already have one set up.

Email us at friendships@mencap.org.uk and tell us who you are (e.g. an individual, family member or carer, or an organisation or professional), where you live and what you are interested in (e.g. support, being a befriending volunteer).


How to avoid scams and keep your money safe (PDF)

Keeping clean and handwashing

How to stop coronavirus spreading by keeping clean (PDF)

How to wash your hands (PDF)

About coronavirus

About coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF)

What will happen if I get coronavirus (COVID-19)? (PDF)

What to expect from coronavirus (COVID-19) if you live with other people (PDF)

What to expect from coronavirus (COVID-19) if you live on your own (PDF)

Government guidance

Latest government guidance

Images of someone washing their hands

How to wash your hands thoroughly

Follow these steps when you wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands under warm running water
  2. Apply a small amount of soap
  3. Rub your hands together and make sure that the soap and water cover all over your hands
  4. Carefully wash your palms, the backs of your hands, your fingertips, thumbs, your wrists and nails
  5. Rinse your hands under running water
  6. Dry your hands thoroughly.
PDF easy read guide to handwashing

Talk to us

We know this is a difficult and unusual time. We're here to help.

If you need information or advice you can contact our helpline or if you can, have a chat on our online community

Contact the helpline Go to the online community