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Coronavirus (COVID-19): useful information and links.

With information about coronavirus (COVID-19) being updated regularly it’s important to read the very latest information on coronavirus on NHS.UK.

Get information about coronavirus on NHS.UK

Get advice about staying at home
Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

The latest government measures state that you can only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to.
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with.
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person.
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 virus is technically known as SARS-CoV-2 and is part of a group of viruses that are common across the world. Past viruses in this group include the common cold (yes – this is a coronavirus), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS).

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has recently been discovered. There isn’t currently a vaccine, but work has already started to create one. However, vaccines take a long time to develop and so we can’t rely on one becoming available in the next few months.

  • A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.
  • A new, continuous cough – this means you have started coughing repeatedly.

Another symptom of coronavirus is:

  • Shortness of breath.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) can start like normal flu, but it can progress to pneumonia with shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. As with other viruses of this nature, it is thought to cause more severe symptoms in at-risk patient groups. These groups include older people, aged over 70, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and those with long-term conditions such as diabetes or cancer.

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.

Call 111 ONLY if you cannot get help through the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

You must self isolate for 14 days if you have been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus. Close contact means:

  • Living in the same house.
  • Contact with their body fluids.
  • Face-to-face contact, for example talking for more than a few minutes.
  • Being coughed on.
  • Being within 2 metres of the person for more than 15 minutes.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Self isolation means staying indoors at the same place and avoiding contact with other people. This will help prevent spread to your family, friends and the wider community. Do not go outside. Get family members or friends to run errands for you, such as groceries and medications, but make sure they have as little physical contact as possible with you to prevent them from also catching the virus. Get more information here.

If you need a note for self isolation click here.

There is no specific treatment for the virus and, as with other flu viruses, antibiotics do not work.

Patients must self isolate for at least 14 days – this means staying in your home and resting whilst your body fights the illness. If your condition deteriorates you must seek medical help, by using the NHS 111 online service.


Although it’s not certain, it’s likely that the Coronavirus spreads through large droplet transmission – for example droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. They typically spread about one metre. They hang suspended in the air for a while before landing on surfaces, where the virus can survive for some time.

Face masks are very important for those working at hospitals or having close contact with coronavirus patients. When used correctly they offer protection from droplets in the air, although not necessarily the smaller aerosol particles. However there is no evidence that they provide widespread benefit for members of the public.

Since the virus is flu-like in nature, you should follow the normal precautions during any winter flu outbreak:

Wash your hands properly and regularly
Wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers, and under your nails and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse.

Use alcohol hand sanitiser
Use throughout the day – especially during and after being out in public.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is unwell.

Cover your mouth
Always use a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze or wipe your nose. Dispose of tissues promptly in the bin. If no tissue is available then cough into your elbow rather than your hands to prevent spread through you then touching another person or a surface.

Avoid touching your mouth and face.

Regularly clean surfaces
Your computer keyboard, telephone, door handles and other surfaces can all harbour germs so clean them regularly with anti-bac wipes.

Avoid unnecessary close contact
As it’s impossible to know who may be infected, avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing. Keep at least two metres apart.

If there's a chance you could have coronavirus, you are 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 on the doorstep

You will need to do this for 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.

Read more coronavirus self-isolation advice.

With increased demand on GP practices and worries about infection spreading, rest assured that a LIVI GP is just a video call away. Our GPs can help with important everyday medical advice, prescriptions and referrals by video.

Seeing a LIVI GP by video is especially useful if you need medical advice when self-isolating, or if you wish to limit your exposure to other people. In the event of the further spread of coronavirus, seeing a GP by video rather than visiting a GP surgery in person is a sensible choice for everyone.

Read more on how LIVI can help.

__Please note: Government advice can change – for the latest NHS updates, click here to get information about coronavirus on NHS.UK.__