COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Because this is a new illness it has been able to spread quickly, which is why the Government and the NHS are taking significant steps to combat it.
To reduce the risk of infection spreading, you should only leave your home if it is essential. For example:
- Shopping for basic necessities like food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- One form of exercise a day, either alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
The main symptoms of coronavirus 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)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.