Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that can affect your lungs & airways.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it is a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses spread in cough droplets.
It's highly unlikely coronavirus can be spread through packages from affected countries or through food.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home 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 are staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you are staying at home.
How long 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.
How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)
There's currently no cure or vaccine for coronavirus, so everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
It is particularly important for people who:
- are 70 or over
- have a long-term condition (Diabetes, Asthma, COPD, MS etc.)
- are pregnant
- have a weakened immune system
- wash your hands with soap and water often (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 hand afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- only travel on public transport if it is absolutely necessary
- work from home if possible
- avoid social acitivities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres etc.
- avoid mass gatherings or events
- use phones, online services or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- do not have visitors to your home, including friends or family
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 others, until you have recovered.
The FCO advises British people against ALL non-essential travel worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel WITHOUT notice.
Information taken from NHS & World Health Organisation websites.