Overview - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Stay at home advice

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

These pages are for the public. There is coronavirus information for health professionals on the NHS England website.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • 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.

Read our 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

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

 

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.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

Do

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

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

 

Travel advice

There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.

If you're planning to travel abroad and are concerned about coronavirus, see advice for travellers on GOV.UK.

 

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.

 

Government response and action plan

 

Get an isolation note

Use this service if you have been told to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer.

NHS 111 - Get Isolation Note