Updated 19 May 2020
Government information and advice
Information for health professionals
What to do if you have symptoms
The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- 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)
- 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
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service if you have any of these symptoms which will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one.
Call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.
Find out more about what to do if you or a member of your household has coronavirus symptoms on the NHS website.
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- stay at home as much as possible
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
How to stop infection spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
- 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 back 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
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Looking after your health and wellbeing
To help yourself stay well while you’re at home:
- stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
- try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
- do light exercise at home, or outside once a day
For more advice, see: