Coronavirus: Government and NHS Advice

What is Coronavirus:

Coronavirus is a virus which causes an illness called COVID-19.


Symptoms of Coronavirus:

Symptoms indicating Coronavirus generally fall into two categories. You should stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature - you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

  • a new, continuous cough - this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
  • anosmia - a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste and smell


Steps to take to stop it spreading:

There are a number of steps the government has outlined which can help avoid the spreading of Coronavirus.

This includes advice on:

  • the thorough washing of hands

  • the catching of coughs and sneezes
  • the disposing of tissues
  • the regular cleaning of regularly touched objects and surfaces

You should wash your hands regularly, and for a minimum of 20 seconds. This is roughly the same time as it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice. You should always try and wash your hands when you arrive at home and at work. You should only use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

You should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. You should put all used tissues in the bin immediately, and wash your hands afterwards. 

You should clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Try and avoid contact with those displaying symptoms.


What not to do:

Aside from not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean, and avoiding contact with those displaying symptoms, there are some shopping-related steps people can take.

The British Retain Consortium recently published a statement signed by all major supermarket chains in the UK. In that statement, the chains re-iterated that there is more than enough produce to serve everybody, and that panic-buying will only lead to shortages for others.

The items most in demand include toilet roles, sanitisers, painkillers, and dry goods (rice and pasta, for example).

Most supermarkets have already taken action to minimise disruption. Some have imposed per-customer limits on certain items, others have moved staff from warehouse roles to shop floor roles. Online delivery services are running at full capacity.

Consideration is being given to calls for the relaxation of Sunday trading hours.


If you have symptoms:

If you display the symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate at home for 7 days.

You should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy, or hospital. You do not need to contact NHS 111. Testing is not needed if you are self-isolating at home.

Only contact NHS 111 if:

  • your condition gets worse

  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home

Whilst self isolating:

The government and NHS have issued guidance for those who are self-isolating with suspected Coronavirus.

If you are in this situation, you should:

  • ask your employer, friends, and family to help you get the things you need to stay at home

  • stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home if possible
  • sleep alone, if possible
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, following the steps previously mentioned
  • stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible