Coronavirus: Information and advice

Advice for people concerned about Coronavirus (updated 25th February)

The NHS in England and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal. The risk to the general public is moderate. 

If you have returned from these specific areas since February 19, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy
  • Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
  • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

If you have returned from these areas since February 19th and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

  • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

Call NHS 111 now if you've been:

  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

Do not go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others.  Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Further information is available on gov.uk/coronavirus and nhs.uk

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus