Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside
cover your nose and mouth when it's hard to stay away from people
do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these symptoms. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result.
You must stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test if you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The main symptoms are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
While you're self-isolating, you and anyone you live with must not leave your home.
- Do not go to work, school or public places.
- Do not go on public transport or use taxis.
- Do not go out to get food and medicine. Order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home.
- Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family (except for people providing essential care).
- Do not go out to exercise. Exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one.
If you have symptoms or you test positive (you have coronavirus), you'll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.
If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, you'll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.
You can usually treat mild coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at home. If your symptoms are severe, you may need medical care until you recover.
There are things you can do to treat mild symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) while you’re staying at home (self-isolating).
If you have a high temperature:
- get lots of rest
- drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable
If you have a cough:
- avoid lying on your back – lie on your side or sit upright instead
- try having a teaspoon of honey – but do not give honey to babies under 12 months
If you feel breathless:
- keep your room cool by turning the heating down or opening a window – do not use a fan as it may spread the virus
- sit upright in a chair and relax your shoulders
- try breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth, with your lips together like you're gently blowing out a candle
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You'll need to stay in isolation away from other people until you've recovered.
Get a test to check for coronavirus (COVID-19) if you have any of the main symptoms.
The main symptoms are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
You can ask for a test:
- for yourself, if you have symptoms
- for someone you live with, if they have symptoms
Ask for a test as soon as you get symptoms. The test needs to be done in the first 5 days of symptoms starting.
You can also sometimes get a test if you do not have symptoms. For example, if your local council asks you to get a test.
The test involves wiping a long cotton bud (swab) inside your nose and at the back of your throat.
You can get a test on the NHS website. Go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. Call 119 to get a test if you have problems using the internet.
You can choose a test site near you or get a home test kit.
To stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading:
- try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with or anyone not in your support bubble
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it’s hard to stay away from people, such as in shops or on public transport
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Follow the government's social distancing guidance about what you can and cannot do outside your home.
Get a test to check if you have coronavirus
Download the NHS COVID-19 app
Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.