Coronavirus: your questions answered
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we're asked about coronavirus.
Coronavirus is a virus that affects your lungs and airways. Find out about the symptoms of coronavirus and the steps to take to stop it spreading.
From 15 June, there is new Government guidance on coronavirus. This guidance does not apply to people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding – if you are part of this group, there is separate guidance available. If you are not in clinically extremely vulnerable, then you are able to leave your house for the following reasons:
Restrictions are starting to ease but it's still important that you observe government guidance to reduce the spread of the virus. When you go outside you should stay at least 2 metres apart from others (excluding members of your own household or support bubble) and you should continue to wash your hands with soap and water frequently and dry them thoroughly.
More information about changes can be found on the .
沙巴体育appEveryone in the UK must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
沙巴体育appPeople aged 70 and over, people with long term conditions, and pregnant women are understood to be at an increased risk of severe illness if they become infected with the coronavirus.
While the guidance for these groups of people is the same, people who are more vulnerable may wish to limit their time outdoors and social contact further.
There are a smaller number of people who are at very high risk and are advised to take additional precautions to stay safe. In the past weeks and months, people classed as extremely vulnerable will have been contacted by their GP or hospital and have been advised if this applies to them.
The advice for this group of people was updated on the 1 June.
If you are in the group of people classed as 'extremely clinically vulnerable' you are advised to stay inside as much as possible. But under the new guidance you can go outside with members of your household. If you live by yourself, you can also meet up with 1 person outside of your household. If you choose to do this, you should meet up with the same person each time you go outside.
If you do choose to go outside you should:
It’s a good idea to limit how often you go outside, for example going out once a day.
You should not:
You should still only allow essential visitors, such as NHS staff or your carers, into your home. If you need to have something delivered or if family and friends are bringing shopping or other essentials, it must be left at the doorstep.
The guidance around social bubbles currently does not apply to those advised to shield.
On 22 June Government announced that some restrictions will be lifted for people who are shielding from 6 July. These include:
沙巴体育appThe rest of the guidance for people who are shielding will remain the same and you shouldn’t at this stage go to shops or other indoor spaces such as places of worship.
沙巴体育appIn addition from 1 August the advice to shield will be paused and those considered clinically extremely vulnerable will be advised to adopt strict social distancing measures instead, meaning you will be able to go out to shops and see more people but should take care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble. You will also be able go to work if you cannot work from home. Some support measures such as the food and medicine boxes will be stopped, but there will still be support available from the NHS First Responder Scheme and organisations including Age UK. People who have been shielding will also be able to retain their online priority delivery slots, and if you haven’t done so already can register for food support up until 17 July. Everyone who is on the shielding list will be written to outlining these next steps.
If you need more information or are unsure if you should be shielding you can check the and see below for more information.
You need to self-isolate and not leave the house if or anyone you live with have symptoms of coronavirus.
There's more information the symptoms of coronavirus below. You might like to read about staying safe and well at home too.
Novel Coronavirus, formally called COVID-19, is part of a family of viruses that include the common cold and respiratory illnesses such as SARS.
沙巴体育appIt affects your lungs and airways. For many people, it causes mild symptoms while for others it can be much more serious and require hospital treatment.
沙巴体育appCases of coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan City in China in December last year and have quickly spread.
Coronavirus is very infectious, which means it spreads very easily.
沙巴体育appIt spreads in much the same way as the common cold or flu - through infected respiratory droplets like coughs and sneezes – and passes from person to person. This can happen when:
This is why we are being advised to avoid close contact with others, wash our hands thoroughly and frequently, and wipe down surfaces with disinfectant.
沙巴体育appThe average ‘incubation period’ – the time between coming into contact with the virus and experiencing symptoms – is 5 days, but it could be anything between 1 and 14 days. This is why the Government is asking everyone who has come into contact with the virus to self-isolate.
沙巴体育appPeople are most likely to spread the virus to other people when they are experiencing symptoms, which is why it is important to follow guidance on staying at home if you have symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been advised by the test and trace service to self-isolate.
However, don’t forget people can be infectious before they know they are ill.
The most common沙巴体育app symptoms include:
Other symptoms people are reporting include:
沙巴体育appIf you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate and order a test as soon as possible by visiting or calling 119.
You will need to self-isolate until your test results come back,as should all others in your household or support bubble. This means you should not leave the house, including for work, exercise or to collect essentials, such as food or medicine.
If you have been identified as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and develop symptoms you should seek clinical advice using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111. Do this as soon as you get symptoms.
If you have a positive coronavirus test
If you test positive for coronavirus, you will need to self-isolate for 7 days from the point at which you first developed symptoms. If after 7 days you still have symptoms, other than a cough or loss of taste and smell, you should continue to self-isolate. You do not need to continue to self-isolate if, after 7 days, you still have a cough or loss of taste and smell as these can last for several weeks after the infection has passed.
If you live with other people, all other household members and anyone in your support bubble must stay at home for 14 days from when you started having symptoms, unless they also develop symptoms of coronavirus. If they develop symptoms of coronavirus, then they should also book a test right away. If the results come back positive then they should isolate for 7 days from the start of their symptoms. After 7 days they will be able to return to normal, so long as they are feeling better. If their results come back negative then they must continue the isolation of 14 days with the rest of the household.
沙巴体育appPeople who have tested positive will be contacted by NHS test and trace service by text message, email or phone call and asked to share details of your recent interactions, including people you have recently had direct contact with. You can find out more about how the track and trace service works here.
If your test is negative
If your test comes back negative then you are at low-risk of having coronavirus. Other members of your household or support bubble 沙巴体育appwill no longer need to self-isolate and if you feel well you can also stop self-isolating straight away. However, if you still feel unwell it is better to stay inside as you may have another virus, such as a cold or the flu, so you should try not to be around other people.
沙巴体育appAfter people have completed their period of self-isolation, they should continue to follow Government advice on social distancing. This means they should only leave the house for exceptional circumstances.
You should also get in touch with the NHS for medical help if:
You should do this by calling 111 or using the . Do not go to your doctor’s surgery or to hospital.
You should also get in touch with the NHS for medical help if:
You should do this by calling 111 or . Do not go to your doctor’s surgery or to hospital.
It is also important that you stay at home and for at least 7 days if you have a new, continuous cough or high temperature, even if you're feeling OK.
沙巴体育appIf after 7 days you still have a high temperature, you should stay inside until it returns to normal.
If you live with other people and you are the first person to develop symptoms, you should stay inside for 7 days. If someone else in your household or support bubble has developed symptoms you should stay inside for 14 days, or until you develop symptoms yourself. If you do develop symptoms then you should stay at home for 7 days, even if that means you end up staying inside for longer than the 14 days.
Everyone over the age of 5 who develops symptoms of coronavirus is now able to access a test.
Some people can get tested even if they don’t have symptoms of coronavirus. These are:
You should book a test as soon as you develop symptoms as it needs to happen within the first 5 days and is most effective in the first three daysYou can book a test through the . For those unable to access the internet call 119.
沙巴体育appThere are different ways to get a test. You can
For postal tests, the test and trace service will ask if they can run a check to verify your address. The check is not the same as a credit check and will not affect your credit score. If you decline you may be told you are unable to receive a test by post, and to apply for a drive-in or walk-in test instead. Some people may not pass these checks for various reasons, and again may be advised to apply for a drive-in test instead. If you have any concerns you can call 119 for support.
The current test available looks for the presence of coronavirus and is taken in two samples – one from the back of your throat and one from inside your nose. At the drive through testing sites, you will remain in your car while a doctor or nurses takes this from you. If you are doing the test yourself at home, take a look at to see how to take the swab.
You will be notified of the test results a few days later.
You are able to apply for a test of behalf of someone else, as long as they are over 13 and you have their permission to do so.
Coronavirus has been declared a ‘pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation. This means there is significant and ongoing spread of the disease across lots of countries.
The Government has called coronavirus a major public health emergency and the most ‘significant threat this country has faced for decades’.
So why is coronavirus such a significant problem? There are a few very simple reasons:
Anyone can catch coronavirus. It spreads easily from person to person and, if we did nothing, would continue to do so until most people had been infected.
沙巴体育appMost people (around 4 out of 5) who get coronavirus will experience mild to moderate symptoms. This might feel like anything from a run of the mill common cold to the flu. For most people this will mean they need to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and take normal over-the-counter remedies, such as paracetamol.
Unfortunately, around 1 in 5 people who get coronavirus will become severely unwell and need hospital treatment.
沙巴体育appAround 1 in 20 people will need critical (intensive) care in hospital.
沙巴体育appAlthough most people of any age will only experience mild or moderate symptoms, we do know that some people are much more likely than others to become seriously unwell. This includes:
There are also some conditions that put people at particularly high risk. The following people may be affected and should receive a letter from the NHS advising them what to do:
Pregnant women have also been advised to be extra careful.
If you have a health condition on the Government’s list of extremely vulnerable people but have not been contacted by the NHS, you should speak to your GP or hospital clinician about your concerns.
When you leave your house, you need to stay at least 2 metres away from other people (except members of your own household).
Make sure you wash your hands, frequently and thoroughly, with soap and hot water, particularly when you have been outside.
You should not go to other people’s houses, unless you are in a support bubble with them.
沙巴体育appYou should wash your hands frequently:
Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. You should also make sure you catch coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve – not your hands – and put used tissues in the bin.
沙巴体育appAs of 15 June, it is mandatory for everyone to wear a face covering on public transport and when visiting a healthcare setting such as a hospital for outpatients appointments or to see a loved one. For people who may find it difficult to wear a face covering – perhaps because of a disability, or difficulty breathing – these rules do not apply, and you do not have to cover your face.
It is not mandatory to wear a face covering in other settings outside the house, but it is advised by the government when 2m distancing with people you do not live with is not possible.
We have more information on what a face covering is, when to wear them, who may be considered exempt here.
You may feel like you should avoid getting help for medical conditions because you’re worried about putting the NHS under additional pressure. But your health needs are just as important as before and you should seek care and treatment that you need. The NHS have systems in place to ensure you can access the care that you need in a safe well.
If you become unwell you can still speak to your GP, although they may do this over the phone rather than face-to-face.
沙巴体育appIf you have an existing health condition, you should continue to follow your treatment plan. If you have any concerns then contact their GP or specialist.
If you need urgent medical help, whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, you should contact 111 or call 999 in an emergency.
Some medical appointments have been postponed. This is to help stop the spread of coronavirus and to protect the NHS.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, do not visit your GP surgery or hospital. Find out what to do here.
If you have health conditions which make you clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and have been advised to shield, then you should contact your GP or specialist for advice on how to continue receiving your care and treatment.
沙巴体育appSome people usually have to pay for certain treatments provided by the NHS, but testing and treatment for coronavirus is exempt from charging.
沙巴体育appMigrants who are classed as ‘overseas visitors’, undocumented migrants and those with a precarious immigration status, will not be charged for the diagnosis or treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is regardless of whether you test positively or negatively for the coronavirus.
沙巴体育appThe Government has also stated that NHS trusts have been advised that no immigration checks are required for overseas visitors that are known to be only undergoing testing or treatment for COVID-19.
Information in Community Languages
You can find information on the charging exemption translated into community languages at .
Doctors of the World have translated wider guidance which can be .
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