NHS Info from 28th March 2020

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Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Important

These 4 reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

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.

Do

  • 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

Don't

  • 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

What to do if you need medical help

If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

Read more advice about getting medical help at home.

Pregnancy advice

If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists.

Advice for people at high risk - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Who's at high risk from coronavirus

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, but there are some people who are at a higher risk.

For example, you may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
Information: If you're at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.

How to protect yourself if you're at high risk

If you're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.

These include:

  • not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, pick up medicine or exercise
  • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people in your home as much as possible

Ask friends, family or neighbours to pick up shopping and medicines for you. They should leave them outside your door.

If you need help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food, you can register to get coronavirus support.

Information: Read the full advice on protecting yourself if you're at high risk from coronavirus on GOV.UK.

Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • 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)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Information: Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Self-isolation helps stop coronavirus spreading

Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

This is called self-isolation.

If you are self-isolating, you must:

  • not leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people
  • not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
  • not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home

You can use your garden, if you have one.

Information:

If you're not sure if you need to self-isolate

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service to find out what to do.

How long to self-isolate

If you have symptoms

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to self-isolate for 7 days.

After 7 days:

  • if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
  • if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal

You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

If you live with someone who has symptoms

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms.

If you get symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days.

If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.

After self-isolation

You still need to stay at home when you finish self-isolating, but you can go out for essential trips such as buying food.

Read the coronavirus advice for everyone.

Get an isolation note to give to your employer

If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to stay off work.

You do not need to get a note from a GP.

Information: If you have symptoms of coronavirus and need to stay at home, use the 111 coronavirus service to get an isolation note.

If you have symptoms and live with a vulnerable person

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Do

  • try to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from each other

 

  • avoid using shared spaces, such as kitchens or bathrooms, at the same time as each other
  • open windows in shared spaces if you can
  • clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched

 

  • use a dishwasher if you have one – if you do not have one, use washing-up liquid and warm water and dry everything thoroughly

Don't

  • do not share a bed, if possible

 

 

  • do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels

Reducing the spread of infection in your home

While you're self-isolating, you should:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often, 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • clean objects and surfaces you touch often (like door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products

How to do your cleaning and laundry

Use your usual household products, such as detergents and bleach, when you clean your home.

Put used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths in rubbish bags. Then put the bag into a second bag and tie it securely. Wait 3 days before putting it in your outside bin.

Dispose of other household waste as normal.

Wash your laundry in the washing machine in the usual way. Laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people's items. Do not shake dirty laundry, as this may spread the virus in the air.

If you do not have a washing machine, wait for 3 days after your stay at home has ended before taking your laundry to a launderette.

Looking after your health and wellbeing

To help yourself stay well while you're at home:

  • drink plenty of water to stay hydrated – drink enough so your pee is pale and clear
  • take paracetamol to help ease your symptoms
  • stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media, to help you avoid feeling low or lonely
  • try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
  • do light exercise, if you feel well enough to

There is advice about how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home from Every Mind Matters.

Ibuprofen

There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.

If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.

What to do if you need medical help while self-isolating

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, you may be able to get help online or over the phone.

Read our advice about getting medical help from home.

 

Page last updated: 8.30pm 28 March 2020