We have identified certain areas where people are at higher risk of getting coronavirus. This includes:
If you have any of the symptoms above (high temperature, cough, shortness of breath) within 14 days of travel to Wuhan City or other parts of Hubei province, get immediate medical attention by contacting your GP or NHS 24 (phone 111). You should not go to your GP practice in person, but should telephone for advice from home.
Even if you have no symptoms, please follow this advice for 14 days following your return from Hubei:
This means you should remain at home and should not go to work/school/ public areas, or use public transport/taxis. It is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.
If you have any of the symptoms above (high temperature, cough, shortness of breath) within 14 days of travel to a risk area, get immediate medical attention by contacting your GP or NHS 24 (111). You should not attend your GP practice in person, but should telephone for advice from home.
If you have been in any other risk area apart from Hubei province, and you have no symptoms then you can go about your normal activities. If you become unwell within 14 days of your return, please follow the advice above.
If you returned more than 14 days ago from a risk area but developed symptoms within 14 days and still feel unwell then telephone your GP or NHS 24 (111).
If in the past 14 days you have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed as having the coronavirus infection, please remain at home and call your GP or NHS 24 for further advice. You should not attend your GP practice in person, but should telephone for advice from home.
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by droplets generated in coughs and sneezes.
If you are a contact of someone who is identified as a confirmed case of coronavirus infection, a health professional will be in touch with you to undertake an individual risk assessment covering a range of factors including the level of contact you have had with the case.
Because this is a new virus, we do not know enough to have a precise incubation period. Experience of other similar viruses suggests symptoms are likely to develop within a few days of exposure. Based on current information, public health advice is that anyone potentially exposed should be alert to any symptoms for 14 days after their last possible exposure.
Advice has been issued for people who have recently been in any of the risk areas so that the possibility of them passing on the virus is minimised. This advice includes self-isolation for people who have recently been in Wuhan City or other parts of Hubei province even if they have no symptoms. Anyone who has recently been in any risk area, and who is unwell is being managed according to national guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission of the illness.
You can reduce your risk of acquiring and spreading respiratory infections by practising good respiratory hygiene, such as:
There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of face-masks as a useful preventative measure for the general public.
Coronavirus is a newly emerging virus so there haven’t been any studies on how long it might survive outside the body. Other coronaviruses have been shown to survive on hard surfaces for at least 48 hours, so proper cleaning is very important.
People who have been in any of the risk areas are being given specific advice to reduce the possibility of transmission.
As cases arise in the UK, health professionals will aim to contact anyone who has been in close contact with the infected person.
If you have not been contacted, be reassured you are extremely unlikely to catch coronavirus.
Washing at 60 degrees C with a detergent is effective at killing viruses and bacteria on towels and other fabrics. It is good hygiene practice for anyone who has any symptoms of respiratory illness to use their own towels.
Whilst it may be possible to transmit the virus before symptoms are shown this risk remains low and it is not necessary for other household members to self-isolate at home.
Currently, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for the virus.
Coronavirus is a type of virus which is common across the world. Generally, coronavirus and other viruses such as influenza can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, including those who are pregnant. Currently the risk of contracting coronavirus is much lower than contracting influenza; you should therefore take extra care with your hygiene during pregnancy to avoid all respiratory infections especially influenza that is much more common.
Your 14 day incubation period starts on the last day you were in any of the risk areas or in transit through a risk area. You should follow the advice for the specific areas you have travelled in for 14 days from the last date you were in a risk area.
No. Even if you have had a negative test result you still need to self-isolate (see guidance below) and there are still circumstances when you may need to be re-tested.
If you receive a negative coronavirus test result, but you are still within the 14-day observation period then you should remain in self-isolation until the end of these 14 days. This advice applies whether you continue to have symptoms or your symptoms resolve within the 14 day period since your return from Hubei.
If you receive a negative coronavirus test result, you should remain in self-isolation until either your symptoms resolve or until the end of your 14-day observation period if your symptoms persist.
If your symptoms worsen or new symptoms develop within the 14 day observation period, you should telephone your GP or NHS 24 (111) even if you have had already had a negative test result, as you may need to be retested.
Even if you have already had a negative test, if your symptoms worsen or you develop new symptoms within 14 days of returning from any risk area, or your last contact with a person known to have been infected with coronavirus, then telephone your GP or NHS 24 (111) again, as you may need to be retested.
You do not need to take any specific actions as long as you/your child remain well. When a positive case is identified the NHS will undertake contact tracing to identify anyone who meets agreed criteria as a close contact. Specific advice will then be offered depending on the level of contact you have had.
Contact tracing may also be undertaken for people undergoing testing before confirmation is received if the case is severely unwell.
If you think you may be a contact of someone who is being tested or assessed for coronavirus and you develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, you should call your GP or NHS 24 (111).
It is important that you should not attend a healthcare setting if there is a risk that you could spread coronavirus.
If you have fever or respiratory symptoms, however mild, within 14 days of return to the UK from a risk area you must not attend work. You should remain at home and contact your GP or NHS 24 (111) by phone immediately for advice.
If you have travelled to a risk area, you should:
A risk assessment will be undertaken and you will be advised on whether they can return to work or should self-isolate.
If you are a HCW with no symptoms living with someone who has travelled to a risk area and is unwell, you should not attend work and should contact your line manager and occupational health department for advice. You will need to be excluded from work until test results of the contact are available.
Like when you have the flu, you should remain at home and should not go to work, school or public areas. Where possible, you should avoid having visitors to their home, but it is OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food. You should not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after your return from risk areas/last exposure to a case, if advised to self isolate.
You should monitor your symptoms and call NHS 24 or your GP if you develop any of the following symptoms – fever, cough, or shortness of breath. You should not attend your GP practice in person, but should telephone for advice from home.
This is a changing situation and the advice is based on recent information from China about the number of cases and spread of the infection from person to person. This is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.
During self-isolation you should stay at home and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend, family member or delivery services to carry out errands on your behalf.
During self-isolation you should stay at home and avoid public places. Where possible, contact a friend or family member to take your children to school, as long as the children have not travelled with you to the risk areas.
If you do not have symptoms and are looking for general information, a free helpline has been set up on 0800 028 2816.
The helpline is open: