There’s a lot of misinformation doing the rounds about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), so it’s really important you get facts from a trusted source.
Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus to find out what the symptoms are, how to prevent the spread, and who should stay at home.
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
We are now in the delay phase of our response to COVID-19 which is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. Advice is as follows:
People are being advised to stay at home (self-isolate) without any testing for COVID-19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if they have:
A new continuous cough or a high temperature (of 37.8°C or higher)
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home and testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
If people who have travelled do not have symptoms they do not need to stay at home, regardless of their travel history.
People should stay at home (self-isolate) for seven days from the onset of the symptoms above.
- if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
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
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online or do not have online access.
You should also follow NHS advice about staying at home.
How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
It is particularly important for people who:
- are 70 or over
- have a long-term condition
- are pregnant
- have a weakened immune system
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- only travel on public transport if you need to
- work from home, if you can
- avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
- avoid events with large groups of people
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
- touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- have visitors to your home, including friends and family
The NHS will contact you from Monday 23 March 2020 if you are at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus. You’ll be given specific advice about what to do.
Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.
As of Tuesday 17 March the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice applies initially for a period of 30 days.