Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Most people no longer need to take a coronavirus test. To prevent the spread of infection, you should try to stay at home if you’re unwell. You can still access testing if you have a health condition which means you’re eligible for coronavirus treatments.

Coronavirus, and other respiratory infections such as flu, can spread easily and cause serious illness in some people. Vaccinations are very effective at preventing serious illness from coronavirus. But there’s still a chance you might catch coronavirus, or another respiratory infection, and pass it on to other people.


To prevent the spread of coronavirus, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection such as coronavirus and you:

  • have a high temperature or
  • do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities

Try to do this until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you feel better.

Symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that’s unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

How to help your symptoms


  • drink fluids like water to keep yourself hydrated
  • get plenty of rest
  • wear loose, comfortable clothing – don’t try to make yourself too cold
  • take over-the-counter medications like paracetamol – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions

Antibiotics will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

You might continue to have a cough or feel tired after your other symptoms have improved. This does not mean that you’re still infectious.

Phone 999 or to go A&E if:

You or your child:

  • seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong – children and babies in particular can get unwell very quickly
  • gets sudden chest pain
  • is so breathless they’re unable to say short sentences when resting, or breathing suddenly gets worse – in babies their stomach may suck under their ribs
  • starts coughing up blood
  • collapses, faints, or has a seizure or fit for the first time
  • has a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis

Speak to your GP if:

  • your symptoms worsen
  • you’re concerned about your symptoms
  • you have symptoms that you can no longer manage at home
  • you’re worried about your child, especially if they’re under 2 years

If your GP is closed, phone 111. In an emergency phone 999.