IMPRESS reminds publishers of the importance of respecting social distancing law during the COVID-19 public health crisis

Following concerns about the adherence of some journalists and photographers to social distancing rules, IMPRESS has today released an Advisory Notice to remind publishers of the importance of acting responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been recent documented instances of gatherings attended by numbers of journalists. It is also clear that there have been gatherings of members of the public for leisure purposes or on demonstrations where the law on social distancing has not been observed. While properly seeking to report such matters in the public interest, journalists and photographers should not appear to condone such breaches by blatantly disregarding the law themselves.

Ed Procter, Chief Executive Officer, said: “News reporting on Covid-19 related events on the ground presents challenges for journalists and photographers. But high standards of journalism and responsible reporting are crucial if the public is to trust the media during a public health crisis. Journalists and photographers have certain privileges as key workers, but those do not entitle them to break the law that others must abide by.”

IMPRESS has also made available a COVID-19 guidance page with a series of resources on standards and responsible reporting.


Complaint to and contacting IMPRESS:

IMPRESS continues to process enquiries and complaints as normal. We encourage members of the public to contact us on if they have concerns about the news gathering activities of a publisher regulated by IMPRESS or if they want to better understand the standards expected of publishers regulated under our approved scheme of press regulation.

Enquiries: For enquiries or guidance on how to engage with IMPRESS services, please contact us at or call 020 3325 4288.

Whistleblowing: The IMPRESS whistleblowing service, operated by Protect, is available to the public as normal. Please visit our website for more information.

Press intrusion: If you are experiencing press intrusion, you may make a request to IMPRESS to issue an Advisory Notice to its publishers to give warning or advice about unwelcome press intrusion. More information here.



IMPRESS provides an officially approved scheme of press regulation. This provides external verification that our Regulatory Scheme is effective, publicly accountable and protects the freedom of the press. We regulate 140+ newspapers and websites in the UK. We provide publishers with the protection and support they need to do their job, and members of the public with efficient means of redress. We offer complaints adjudication, free arbitration, a comprehensive insurance scheme and a progressive Standards Code, as well as an open code review process in which all members of the public can take part. We work in partnership with the public, publishers and stakeholders to raise the standards of journalism and news, both in print and online, in the UK.

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