Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Updated 5th June

What you need to do:

Stay alert: this means you must stay at home as much as possible, limit contact with other people, and work from home if you can.

Social distancing: if and when leaving the house, stay 2m (6 feet) away from others at all times.

Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you get home, and regularly and thoroughly throughout the day.

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

What is Coronavirus?

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

For the latest information please visit NHS UK.

To learn about the government response and guidelines please visit GOV.UK

Test and Trace

The government’s Test and Trace aims to identify those who have been in contact with coronavirus and stop them from spreading it further.

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate for 7 days, and order a test for coronavirus, which you can do here. If you do not have internet access, you can call 119 to do this.

You will then be contacted with results and, if this is positive, with further instructions about how to share information about your recent contacts and places you have visited.

This information will be used to identify people who may have the virus but could have not shown symptoms yet. If this is the case for you, you will be contacted by text, email or a phone call and you must self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive. If at any point you develop symptoms, you must order a test and everyone in your household must isolate for 14 days from that point.

For more information on test and trace, visit the NHS website or the government website.

Symptoms of coronavirus

  • a new, continuous, cough – this means you have started coughing repeatedly
  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back, or have a temperature of 37.8 or higher
  • loss of, or change in, smell or taste

If you have any of these symptoms, you must follow the guidance above: self-isolate for 7 days and order a test. DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. See the ‘self-isolation’ section below for more information.


If there is a chance you could have coronavirus, you should stay away from other people (self-isolate) for 7 days, and order a test. This means you should:

  • Stay at home
  • Not go to work, school or public places
  • Not use public transport or taxis
  • Ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you (do not ask members of your household, however)
  • Try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food at your doorstep
  • Order a test for coronavirus here (or by calling 119 if you do not have internet)

You should self-isolate for 7 days from when you first noticed symptoms.

If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you should self-isolate for 14 days from when the person first started having symptoms. If you start to show symptoms within these 14 days, you must self-isolate for 7 days from when you first showed symptoms.

If you live with someone at higher risk (aged 70 or over, pregnant, or with underlying health conditions), try and find somewhere else for them to isolate.

For more advice from NHS on self-isolation please click here.

The document below, from Public Health England, outlines the guidance around periods of self-isolation.

How coronavirus is spread

Because it is a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

It is very unlikely that it can be spread through things like packages or food.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

  • 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • Only travel on public transport if you absolutely have to
  • Work from home, if at all possible
  • DO NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

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’ve recovered, or until your quarantine period is over.

Government response and action plan

GOV.UK: coronavirus action plan

GOV.UK: information on coronavirus and the situation in the UK