COVID-19 (coronavirus) - the latest

Up to date public information on COVID-19 - last updated 20 May 2020.

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

Everyone must stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading and help the NHS save lives. 

  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance from others if you go out, ensuring you are two metres apart
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. 

If you or anyone in your household develop symptoms of coronavirus you must stay at home and not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.  

Symptoms include:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
  • loss of taste or smell. 

Seek medical advice using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or if you don’t have internet access call 111. In an emergency call 999. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

How long do you need 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.

We're still here for you

If you need urgent and emergency services for stroke, heart attack, and other killer conditions the NHS is still available to help you. 

And it is safe to access care.

If you or a loved one have the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, are a parent worried about their child or have concerns about conditions such as cancer you should seek help in the way you always would.

People should contact their GP or the 111 service if they have urgent care needs – or 999 in emergencies – and to attend hospital if they are told they should.

Ignoring problems can have serious consequences – now or in the future.

For more information have a read of our frequently asked questions document here. 

More information about COVID-19

Please see links below to information, in various formats that is regularly updated: 

  • General guidance

NHS website 

  • Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection 

As of 16 March 2020, Public Health England has issued revised guidance for households with possible coronavirus infections:

Government stay at home guidance

  • Guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people 

As of 16 March 2020, Public Health England has issued revised guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people:

Government guidance on social distancing 

  • Guidance on helping others safely

Government guidance on helping others safely

Easy Read guidance on helping others safely 

  • Guidance on mental health 

Government guidance on mental health and wellbeing

Every Mind Matters 

  • Guidance in easy read

Guidance on staying alert and safe

Government easy read guidance: Covid-19

Government easy read guidance: Stay at home

Easy read online 

Easy read Facebook group

Easy read on Instagram

  • Guidance for people with diabetes

Know diabetes 

  • Guidance in British sign language (videos)

Sign health

BTM Projects 

Essential advice

Home isolation

How to use the NHS

Spot the signs

Don't touch your face

  • Guidance in other languages, includes: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Dari, Farsi, French, Hindi, Kurdish Sorani, Malayalam, Mandarin, Pashto, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese​ - more languages being added regularly 

Government stay at home guidance

Doctors of the world

  • Guidance for children 



Supporting children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19 outbreak