Staying home to stop coronavirus spreading
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the Government has introduced new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people.
According to guidance, you should now only leave the house for one of four reasons:
1. Shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to.
2. One form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with.
3. Medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person.
4. Travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary.
If you do need to go outside for one of these reasons, it's important that you always keep a distance of 2m (6ft) from other people.
If you think you might have coronavirus
A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
What to do if you have these symptoms
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You should stay at home and self isolate.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. Read the NHS advice about staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- Your condition gets worse
- Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
How to avoid catching or spreading germs?
- 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- only travel on public transport if you need to
- work from home, if you can
- avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
- avoid events with large groups of people
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
have visitors to your home, including friends and family
How to self-isolate if you're asked to
If there's a chance you could have coronavirus, you may be asked to stay away from other people (self-isolate).
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
- try to avoid visitors to your home – it's OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food
You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.
Read more coronavirus self-isolation advice.
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 have recovered.
Advice for people at high risk
If you're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it. These include:
- Not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
- Avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible
For the full list of people who are considered high risk visit the Government website.
The NHS will contact you from Monday 23 March 2020 if you are at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus. You'll be given specific advice about what to do.
NHS England had produced a list of common questions about coronavirus, covering advice for you and your family, how it's caught and spread, prevention, self-isolation, testing and treatment and foreign travel.
Other places for information:
- NHS coronavirus information
- Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults
- Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
- GOV.UK information on coronavirus and the situation in the UK
- GOV.UK foreign travel advice
- World Health Organization: coronavirus myth busters