If the GP, Practice Nurse or Nurse Practitioner has asked you to use the Video Calling System (Near Me) please click the link below:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline
If you don't have symptoms and are looking for general information, phone the free NHS Inform helpline on 0800 028 2816.
The helpline is open from 8.00am to 10.00pm each day.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan city, China. It can cause a cough and/or a fever/high temperature.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
This is a rapidly changing situation which is being monitored carefully.
People at higher risk of severe illness
Some people are at higher risk of developing severe illness with COVID-19. These people should strictly follow social distancing measures.
Their household and other contacts should also strictly follow social distancing advice.
Higher risk groups
People at extremely high risk of severe illness
Some groups of people are considered to be at extremely high risk of severe illness with COVID-19. These people should should strictly follow shielding measures.
Their household and other contacts should strictly follow social distancing measures in order to protect them.
Extremely high risk groups
I'm not sure if I fall into one of the more vulnerable groups -what should I do?
If you have an underlying health condition or take medicines regularly but you're not sure whether or not you fall into one of the more vulnerable groups, you should call your GP practice and say you want advice about your underlying condition or your medicines.
People who are considered to be extremely vulnerable to severe illness will receive a letter giving them further advice, but if you remain unsure, contact your GP.
Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater).
A new continuous cough is where you:
have a new cough that’s lasted for an hour
have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours
are coughing more than usual
A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.
Some people will have more serious symptoms, including pneumonia or difficulty breathing, which might require admission to hospital.
Could I have coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Use this guide to find out what to do next if you have developed any of these symptoms and are worried about coronavirus.
Before using this guide
If you're asking on behalf of someone else, please make sure the person is:
conscious and alert
responding normally to you
If not, phone 999 and ask for an ambulance and tell them that you're concerned about coronavirus.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19
If you’ve developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital. Read our stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
You should phone 111 if:
your symptoms worsen during home isolation, especially if you’re in a high or extremely high risk group
breathlessness develops or worsens, particularly if you’re in a high or extremely high risk group
your symptoms haven’t improved in 7 days
If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Do the people I live with need to take any action?
If you live with other people and have symptoms, they'll need to stay at home for 14 days from the start of your symptoms even if they don’t have symptoms themselves.
If they develop symptoms within the 14 days, they need to stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms began. They should do this even if it takes them over the 14-day isolation period.
Your whole household should follow our stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Get an isolation note to give to your employer
You can send an isolation note to your employer as proof you need to stay off work because of COVID-19.
You don’t need to get a note from a GP.
Can't get an isolation note
You need to contact your employer if you require to shield from COVID-19 due to underlying conditions but are currently well. Please don't phone 111 or your GP.
Is there anything I can do to prepare?
You should start planning now for how you would manage a period of self-isolation just in case everyone in your household needs to stay at home.
Your plan might include:
talking to your neighbours and family and exchanging phone numbers of household contacts
making a plan for those in your home who are considered vulnerable.
creating a contact list with phone numbers of neighbours, schools, employer, pharmacist and your GP
setting up online shopping accounts if possible
ensuring adequate supplies of any regular medication, but do not over-order
taling to any children or young people in your household as they may be worried about COVID-19
Testing for COVID-19
Generally, you'll only be tested for COVID-19 if you have a serious illness that requires admission to hospital.
How COVID-19 is spread
Because it's a new illness, we don't know exactly how the virus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses spread by droplets in coughs and sneezes.
How to avoid catching COVID-19
You can reduce your risk of getting and spreading the infection by:
avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth
maintaining good hand hygiene
avoiding direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and avoiding using their personal items such as their mobile phone
covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and disposing of them in the nearest waste bin after use
following the stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection if someone in your household has symptoms
making sure everyone in your household follows the Government advice to stay at home as much as possible and to stay away from other people
following the stay at home advice if someone in your household has symptoms
making sure everyone in your household follows the social distancing advice, especially anyone in a vulnerable group
helping those at extremely high risk of severe illness with COVID-19 to follow the shielding advice
Wash your hands regularly
Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser before eating and drinking, and after coughing, sneezing and going to the toilet.
Currently, there's no vaccine and no specific treatment for the virus.
There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.
But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.
If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.