The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you have any of these symptoms, get a test to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If you have a positive test result but do not have symptoms, stay at home and self-isolate as soon as you receive the results. Your household needs to isolate too.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, arrange to have a PCR test if you have not already had one. Stay at home while you are waiting for a home self-sampling kit, a test site appointment or a test result. You can leave your home in a few specific circumstances, but do not go to work, school, or public areas and do not use public transport or taxis. See circumstances in which you can leave home.
If you need to leave your home to get to a test site, observe strict social distancing advice and return immediately afterwards.
If you are notified by NHS Test and Trace of a positive test result you must complete your full isolation period. Your isolation period starts immediately from when your symptoms started, or, if you do not have any symptoms, from when your test was taken. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th.
You can return to your normal routine and stop self-isolating after 10 full days if your symptoms have gone, or if the only symptoms you have are a cough or anosmia, which can last for several weeks. If you still have a high temperature after 10 days or are otherwise unwell, stay at home and seek medical advice.
If you are isolating because of a positive test result but did not have any symptoms, and you develop COVID-19 symptoms within your isolation period, start a new 10 day isolation period by counting 10 full days from the day following your symptom onset.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms at any point after ending your first period of isolation you and your household should follow the steps in this guidance again.
Most people with COVID-19 will experience a mild illness. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness of someone in your household is worsening.
Stay as far away from other members of your household as possible, especially if they are clinically extremely vulnerable. Wherever possible, avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens and other living areas while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat. Wear a face covering or a surgical mask when spending time in shared areas inside your home.
Take exercise within your home, garden or private outdoor space. Follow the general advice to reduce the spread of the infection within your household.
Get tested as soon as possible if you have symptoms you can arrange a test by calling 119
Test sites are open 7 days a week or you can order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.
You need to get the test done in the first 8 days of having symptoms.
On days 1 to 7, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you’re ordering a home test kit on day 7, do it by 3pm.
On day 8, you need to go to a test site - it’s too late to order a home test kit
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.
Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.
It's being given to:
- people aged 50 and over
- people at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
- people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
- people with a learning disability
- people who are a main Carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK
How the COVID-19 vaccine is given
The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.
It's given as 2 doses. You will have the 2nd dose 3 to 12 weeks after having the 1st dose.
You will have 2 doses of the same vaccine.
We will call you when it is your turn to have your vaccination. Please ensure your contact details are up to date so as we are able to contact you promptly.
How to stop the spread of coronavirus (covid-19)
Protect yourself and others
This guidance is for everyone to help reduce the risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) and passing it on to others. By following these steps, you will help to protect yourself, your loved ones and those in your community.
It is possible to have COVID-19 with no symptoms. You can pass COVID-19 on to others if you only have mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all.
The main way of spreading COVID-19 is through close contact with an infected person. When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that causes COVID-19. These particles can be breathed in by another person.
Surfaces and belongings can also be contaminated with COVID-19, when people who are infected cough or sneeze near them or if they touch them.
If you have COVID-19, there is a risk that you will spread the virus onto surfaces such as furniture, benches or door handles, even if you do not touch them directly. The next person to touch that surface may then become infected.
Even if you try and avoid other people, you cannot guarantee that you will not come into contact with the virus. That is why you need to follow all of the steps in this guidance all of the time, even when you feel well, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important if you live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.
Keep a safe distance (social distancing)
During the national lockdown you must not leave, or be outside of your home, except where necessary and for a permitted reason.
If you must leave your home:
- stay at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble
- reduce the time spent in crowded areas where it may be difficult to socially distance (such as shops and supermarkets)
- avoid direct contact and face to face contact with people you do not live with
If you live in the same household as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, try to stay 2 metres away from them even when you are at home.
Stay at least 2 metres away from anyone who visits your home for work reasons such as a cleaner or a tradesperson doing essential or urgent work.
Why keeping a safe distance is important
The further you can keep away from other people, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others.
COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and smaller aerosols that are released from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze. The closer you are to a person with COVID-19 (even those without symptoms), the more likely you are to become infected.
Remember the basics of good hygiene
No matter where you are or what you are doing, following the basic rules of good hygiene will help to protect you and others from COVID-19. These are:
- washing your hands
- cleaning your surroundings
- covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze
Wash your hands
Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day. You should wash your hands after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose and before you eat or handle food. Wash your hands after coming into contact with surfaces touched by many others, such as handles, handrails and light switches, and shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. If you must leave your home, wash your hands as soon as you return.
Where possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do need to touch your face (for example to put on or take off your face covering), wash or sanitise your hands before and after.
Why hand washing is important
Hands touch many surfaces and can become contaminated with viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer viruses to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, viruses can enter your body and infect you.
If you are infected with COVID-19, you can pass the virus from your nose and mouth (when coughing or talking) to your hands and infect the surfaces that you touch.
Washing or sanitising your hands removes viruses and other germs, so you are less likely to become infected if you touch your face. Using soap and water is the most effective way to clean your hands, especially if they are visibly dirty. Hand sanitiser can be used when soap and water is not available.
Clean your surroundings
Clean surfaces often. Pay particular attention to surfaces that are touched frequently, such as handles, light switches, work surfaces and electronic devices.
Use disposable cloths, paper roll or disposable mop heads to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings – think ‘one site, one wipe, in one direction’. Any cloths, paper roll or mop heads used can be disposed of with your usual domestic waste.
It is fine to use your normal household detergent when cleaning in your home..
Why cleaning your surroundings is important
COVID-19 spreads through small droplets, aerosols and direct contact. Surfaces and belongings can be contaminated with COVID-19 when people with the infection touch them or cough, talk or breathe over them.
Viruses on a surface could infect another person if they touch the surface and then touch their eyes, nose and mouth. Cleaning surfaces will reduce the amount of contamination and so reduce the risk of spread.
The more you clean, the more likely you are to remove viruses from an infected surface before you or another person touches it.
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.
If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.
Why covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze is important
Coughing and sneezing increases the number of droplets and aerosols released by a person, the distance they travel and the time they stay in the air.
A cough or sneeze of an infected person which is not covered will significantly increase the risk of infecting others around them.
By covering your nose and mouth, you will reduce the spread of droplets and aerosols carrying the virus.
You can find more advice on reducing the risks from COVID-19 in your home at GermDefence.
Wear a face covering
There are some places where you must wear a face covering by law.
You should also wear a face covering in indoor places where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Wearing a face covering may not be possible in every situation or for some people who are exempt; please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances.
Why wearing a face covering is important
COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person when they breathe, speak, cough or sneeze.
The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering reduces the spread of COVID-19 droplets, helping to protect others. A face covering may even reduce spread in those who are not experiencing symptoms by reducing the amount of the virus being released when they talk and breathe.
Face coverings are mainly intended to protect others from COVID-19 rather than the wearer and are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing.
Let fresh air in (ventilation)
Make sure you let plenty of fresh air into your home by uncovering vents and opening doors and windows, even a small amount for a short period of time. If you have an extractor fan (for example in your bathroom or kitchen), leave it running for longer than usual with the door closed after someone has used the room.
If someone in the household is self-isolating, open a window in their room and keep the door closed to reduce the spread of contaminated air to other parts of the household. Leave windows open fully for a short period after someone working in your home such as a cleaner or tradesperson has left.
If you are concerned about noise, security or the costs of heating, opening windows for shorter periods of time can still help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Wearing warm clothes or extra layers can help you to keep warm. You may be able to change the layout of your room so that you do not sit close to cold draughts from open windows or doors.
Why letting fresh air in is important
When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by another person. While larger droplets fall quickly to the ground, smaller droplets and aerosols containing the virus that causes COVID-19 can remain suspended in the air for some time indoors, especially if there is no ventilation.
Ventilation is the process of replacing this shared air with fresh air from the outside. The more ventilated an area is, the more fresh air there is to breathe, and the less likely a person is to inhale infectious particles.
For further and the most up to date information on Coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit: www.gov.uk