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

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 06/07/2020, 11:00am

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.

Stay alert and safe

On 23 June, the Prime Minister announced changes to lockdown measures that would apply from 4 July.

Changes to advice include:

  • People can meet in groups of up to two households - indoors or outdoors - however people should remain socially distanced.
  • A number of shops and businesses are now open, along with public places such as places of worship.
  • From 6 July those shielding will be able to spend time outdoors in a group of up to six people including those outside of their household, while maintaining social distancing.

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

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The government has also produced a Frequently Asked Questions document on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Face Covering

Click the link below to find out what a face covering is, when you need to wear face covering and when you do not need to wear one. 

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The link above highlights that some people do not have to wear a face mask. Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering can access template exemption cards here. Exemption cards are a personal choice and are not necessary in law.

If you think you might have coronavirus


  • A high temperature

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

What to do if you have these symptoms

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can get a free test to check if they have the virus. Some people without symptoms can have the test too.

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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?


  • 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.


  • 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

In July, Government advice for those shielding in England will change.

From 6 July 2020 

  • You may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing i.e. stay two metres apart;   
  • You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household;  
  • In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or only with dependent children under 18) in the general population you can also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other's homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance.  

All other advice around shielding remains the same and will remain unchanged until the end of July.  

From 1 August 2020 

The Government’s advice will be that you no longer need to shield. Instead the advice will be to adopt strict social distancing. This means that you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.  

It also means: 

  • You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe;  
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing;  
  • You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing; and  
  • You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing.

Find out more

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:

NHS Test and Trace

Follow this advice if you're told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19).

Find out more

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