COVID-19 UPDATE: 29 MARCH
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
Important – These 4 reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
There is separate advice about:
- staying at home if you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus
- staying at home if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from moderate to High. But the risk to individuals remains low. Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
How to avoid catching or spreading germs
There are things you can do to help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading:
- 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
Looking after your Health and Wellbeing
To help yourself stay well while you’re at home:
- stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
- try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
- do light exercise at home, or outside once a day
For more advice click on the following links:
- Every Mind Matters: 10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus
- Every Mind Matters: how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home
- NHS fitness studio: exercises you can do at home
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.