Information on Coronavirus

Read the latest advice and information from NHS England and Public Health England about the Coronavirus.
person washing hands

For the most up to date information about COVID-19 be sure to check Gov.uk.

Do you need this information in an alternative format? We have collated a list of places where you can find this information in alternative formats, including BSL, easy-read and alternative languages.

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Correct as of 11/05/2020, 12:30pm

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

It is still very important that people stay home unless necessary to go out for specific reasons set out in law. These include:

  • for work, where you cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine, and to collect goods ordered online or on the phone
  • to exercise or spend time outdoors for recreation
  • any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

The government has produced guidance for staying alert and safe (social distancing) with more detail about who can leave their home and for what reasons. 

Find out more

The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Here's guidance on how to make one. 

The government has set out a roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to read the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

If you think you might have coronavirus

Symptoms

  • A high temperature

  • A new, continuous cough
  • Loss or change in sense of smell or taste

What to do if you have these symptoms

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You should stay at home and self isolate.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. Read the NHS advice about staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • Your condition gets worse
  • Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

If you use British Sign Language, click here for the NHS 111 BSL Service

How to self isolate if you or someone in your house has coronavirus

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should stay home and self isolate. What this means is you should not leave your house, even to do shopping, to avoid spreading the virus. If you live alone, you should stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started. If you live with others, then you must stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started. However, everyone else in the household who is well must stay at home and not leave for 14 days.

For more information about when to self isolate and what this means for families visit the Government website.

For more information about the difference between social distancing, self-isolation and shielding, click here

How to avoid catching or spreading germs?

Do:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.

  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Don't:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Hand Washing: how to wash your hands properly

Advice for people at high risk

If you're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it. These include:

  • Not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
  • Avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible

For the full list of people who are considered high risk visit the Government website.

Find out more

Healthwatch England have produced some more information to help you understand  what shielding means in practice. For easy read guidance on shielding (protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus) click here

If you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, you can register for extra support here.

Further information

NHS England had produced a list of common questions about coronavirus, covering advice for you and your family, how it's caught and spread, prevention, self-isolation, testing and treatment and foreign travel. 

NHS common questions

Other places for information:

Getting tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available is available on the Government's website.

Find out more

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