Official health guidance - what you need to know

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus (also known as Covid 19) is a new virus. Generally it is less serious in children and people under 60 - if parents and children get it, it's usually very mild. However, it's very contagious and more severe in older people and people who already have health problems so it's important not to risk them becoming infected too.

It's important to keep yourself up to date.

The best place to do this is NHS Inform which has clear information and is updated regularly.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of the Coronavirus are:

  • a new continuous cough and/or
  • a fever/high temperature.

What can I do to protect myself and my family?

We all need to stay at home right now to save lives. It's hard for families, but we all have our part to play.
Each of us staying at home for a month right now will save lives - they could be our parents, grandparents or the people working to keep us safe. Stay at home and make sure your children and young people stay at home with you.
The only reasons you’re allowed to leave your home are:
  • to shop for food or other basic necessities – but only once a day at the very most
  • to take exercise, but only once a day, either on your own or with other members of your household, not in groups
  • for medical reasons for yourself or other people
  • to travel to work if you’re an essential worker whose work absolutely cannot be done from home
All social events are banned. Any public gathering of more than two people (unless it’s members of the same household or for essential work purposes) are banned.

Stay at home and work from home. It's hard for everyone but it's to cut down the rise in the disease so that we can cut down the spread of the virus, save the lives of people in our communities and so that health services can assist those who need help most.

Make sure you're all being hygienic - ensure your children know the importance of washing their hands regularly. Soap gets rid of many viruses. There's some good videos for children about washing your hands.

Wash your hands regularly:

  • after going to the toilet
  • before meals
  • when you come in from outside
  • after coughing and sneezing

Also make sure you all use tissues to sneeze or cough into and throw them away afterwards.

What should I do if I think I have the Coronavirus?

You should stay at home for fourteen days if you have the symptoms. For most people, it's a mild virus and there's no need to go to the GP or hospital.

So don't go to the GP or hospital  (unless it's an emergency)as you may spread the infection further.

@NHS24 and the 111 phone line is very busy, so

  • use as your first source of information
  • if you have mild symptoms you do not need to call. You need to stay home and get well. Fluids, rest and paracetamol.

Unless your symptoms are severe or get worse, there's no need to phone 111.

How to help your children deal with the Coronavirus

Many of us are feeling anxious about the virus, including our children. It's important to talk to children and reassure them. There's some good advice out there about how to talk to children about the Coronavirus.