We can all help stop coronavirus spreading
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home if we can in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.
Reasons for leaving the house include:
- Shop for essentials – only when you really need to
- To exercise – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with.
- Medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person.
- Travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary. Donating blood is still considered essential travel.
If you do need to go outside for one of these reasons, it's important that you always keep a distance of 2m (6ft) from other people.
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
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
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.
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.
Advice for people at high risk
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
'Shielding' refers to protecting those at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus because of an underlying health condition.
The Government has recently updated its guidance for people who are shielded. You can read the guidance here.
We've created a separate page with information for people who are shielding
Support is being put in place to ensure people who are shielding can access food and medicines if family and friends cannot help. You can register for support using the pink button below.
We understand that advice will have a significant effect on your life, and may affect how you feel. We've put together information about managing your mental health, including links to support and advice lines.
- NHS coronavirus information
- GOV.UK information on coronavirus and the situation in the UK
- GOV.UK foreign travel advice
- World Health Organization: coronavirus myth busters
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.