Latest information on COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Updated 17 March 2020
COVID-19 – commonly known simply as ‘coronavirus’ – is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
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.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
How long to stay at home
- 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.
Read the NHS advice about staying at home.
Urgent advice: 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.
How to protect yourself and others
The best way to protect yourself and others is to:
- 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
Be careful to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Other useful resources
Source for content on this page: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/