Up to date public information on COVID-19.
To stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should avoid close contact with anyone you do not live with. This is called social distancing.
- try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble)
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- 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
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If you or anyone in your household develop symptoms of coronavirus you must stay at home and self-isolate. Do 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
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
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. Find out more information about getting a test for coronavirus here.
How long do you need to stay at home?
- If you have symptoms or have tested positive, stay at home and self-isolate for at least 10 days. You should keep self-isolating after this period if you still feel unwell.
- If you live with (or are in a support bubble with) other people who have symptoms of coronavirus or who have tested positive, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. If you develop symptoms, get a test to check if you have coronavirus.
- 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.
- Self-isolate for 14 days if you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.
If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people.
There are some places where you must wear a face covering, such as:
- on public transport
- in shops
- when you go to hospital appointments or visit someone in hospital, or if you visit your GP
- Some people should not wear face coverings, such as children under 3 and people with breathing difficulties
We're still here for you
If you need urgent and emergency services for stroke, heart attack, and other life-threatening 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.
Please see links below to information, in various formats that is regularly updated:
Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
As of 3 September 2020, Public Health England has issued revised guidance for households with possible coronavirus infections:
Guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people
As of 13 August 2020, Public Health England has issued revised guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people:
Guidance in easy read
Guidance for people with 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
Guidance for children and young people
- Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Advice for parents during coronavirus
- How to access local emergency services during coronavirus:
- Is it serious?
- How to help your unwell child
- RCPCH advice for parents about six-week postnatal check
- Mental health advice for children and young people from Good Thinking
- CC4C Parents coronavirus FAQs
- Parent information for newborns (translated versions here)
- GOV.UK advice on returning to school (includes FAQs on left hand side)
- Advice for parents about routine vaccinations during coronavirus
- NW London Shielded Children Protocol - 18 August 2020
- Should I send my child to school? - flowchart