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.
- 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
- 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:
- 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:
- Guidance on helping others safely
- Guidance on mental health
- Guidance in easy read
- Guidance for people with diabetes
- Guidance in British sign language (videos)
- 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
- Guidance for children