Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

As of 23 March 2020 the Government has announced new rules people have to follow to help tackle the coronavirus emergency and slow the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). The critical guidance instructs people to:

  • Stay home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Other guidance includes:

  • You can travel to and from work if absolutely necessary
  • Public gatherings of more than two people are banned – excluding people you live with
  • Don’t visit other people’s houses or socialise outside your home
  • Police can fine you if you don’t follow the rules
  • If unwell, isolate yourself and your family
  • Keep in touch with one another

If you need medical advice then access NHS 111 online at or by dialling 111 on your phone (only if you cannot do so online).

Find out how to isolate your household at:

Please remember that people can still be carriers of the virus and have no symptoms – so we need to go a lot further than simply avoiding people who are unwell.

Health advice

Coronavirus, or Covid-19, has spread to many countries, including the UK, since the first case was reported in Wuhan, China late last year.

The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on Coronavirus (Covid-19) every day at 2pm until further notice. A new web page contains a dashboard tracker for cases in the UK.

Covid-19 is a virus with similar symptoms to flu or a cold. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What to do if you or someone in your home develops symptoms

  • If you live with someone who has a ‘new continuous’ cough or high temperature, stay at home for 14 days in case symptoms develop
  • Stay at least three steps away from other people in your home if possible
  • If your symptoms get worse or no better after 7 days seek medical advice

There are some simple and effective actions everyone can take to protect themselves and their wider community:

  • Wash hands for about 20 seconds using soap and hot water or use a hand sanitiser gel
  • Use a tissue for coughs and sneezes
  • If you don’t have a tissue use your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Use the online coronavirus service at

The NHS 111 online coronavirus service can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do. Only call if you cannot get help any other way. Don’t visit your GP, hospital or any other care setting for support.

Mental health advice

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.

Below are a series of links to websites with useful information, guidance and tips to help manage your mental health and wellbeing, and that of family and elderly relatives, during this challenging time.