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Information on Coronavirus

Correct as of 17/03/2020

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

  • If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
  • These people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house "even to buy food or essentials" - but they may leave the house "for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others"

Symptoms include:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

Particular care to minimise their social contact has been recommended for:

  • People over the age of 70
  • Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
  • Pregnant women

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. Government guidance advises they will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms.

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

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Government guidance

To help prevent the spread of the virus, the Government have said (Monday 16 March):

  • To work from home where possible
  • To start social distancing. This means that all unneccessary contact with others is to be avoided, including going to pubs, bars and restaurants

What's the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?

The NHS and Public Health England 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.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public to high.

What's the risk of coronavirus to travellers?

There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus. If you have arrived back to the UK from abroad, please follow the advice for returning travellers.

How coronavirus is spread

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

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.

How to self-isolate if you're asked to

If there's a chance you could have coronavirus, you should self-isolate.

This means you should:

  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public places
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
  • try to avoid visitors to your home – it's OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food

You will need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.

Read more coronavirus self-isolation advice.

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:

Treatment for coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

Correct as of 17/03/2020

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

  • If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
  • These people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house "even to buy food or essentials" - but they may leave the house "for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others"

Symptoms include:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

Particular care to minimise their social contact has been recommended for:

  • People over the age of 70
  • Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
  • Pregnant women

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. Government guidance advises they will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms.

Read the NHS advice about staying at home.

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