What is coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or high temperature.
We are working with local NHS organisations, Public Health England and NHS England, taking guidance from Government and the World Health Organisation, to monitor progress and delay the spread of the virus. The situation is under constant review and we are doing all we can to protect the public.
Advice and guidance:
- To find out more about the virus and how to protect yourself, visit nhs.uk/coronavirus
- To find out about the number of cases, risk level in the UK, and what the Government is doing about the virus, visit the gov.uk website.
Public Health England has published guidance for health professionals and a range of other clinical and non-clinicial settings, visit the guidance section on the gov.uk website for more information.
The advice, for everyone, is to follow these main guidelines:
Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- Stay two metres (six feet) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
Every person in the UK must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on Monday 23 March. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
The government will look again at these measures after three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
Other general advice:
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
Checking your symptoms
If the symptoms of anyone staying at home worsen, or they feel they cannot cope at home, they should use the NHS 111 online service. If there is no internet access, please call NHS 111. For medical emergencies dial 999.