COVID-19: Advice for everyone
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. Call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Babies and children
Call 111 if you're worried about a baby or child.
If they seem very unwell, are getting worse, or you think there's something seriously wrong, call 999.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.
Get more advice about coronavirus in children.
Staying at home if you have symptoms (self-isolation)
If your symptoms are mild you must not to leave your home. This is called self-isolation.
- Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 7 days from when their symptoms started.
- Anyone who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms.
Read more about when to self-isolate and what to do.
Advice about staying at home (self-isolation) and looking after yourself if you or someone you live with has symptoms.
- Ask for a test to check if you have coronavirus
- Get an isolation note to give to your employer
- Sign up for text message advice while self-isolating
- When to self-isolate and what to do
- How long to self-isolate
- How to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with
- How to treat coronavirus symptoms at home
- What to do if coronavirus symptoms get worse
- If you or someone you live with gets coronavirus symptoms again
Information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.
Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women.
Children can get coronavirus (COVID-19), but they seem to get it less often than adults and it's usually less serious.
What to do if your child has symptoms of coronavirus
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Use the 111 online coronavirus service if your child is 5 or over. Call 111 if they're under 5.
What to do if your child seems very unwell
Children and babies will still get illnesses that can make them very unwell quickly. It's important to get medical help if you need it.
Call 111 or your GP surgery if your child:
- is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a fever
- is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a fever
- has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature (fever)
- has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
- does not want to eat, or is not their usual self and you're worried
- has a high temperature that does not come down with paracetamol
- is dehydrated – for example, nappies are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying
Call 999 if your child:
- has a stiff neck
- has a rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it (use the "glass test" from Meningitis Now)
- is bothered by light
- has a seizure or fit for the first time (they cannot stop shaking)
- has unusually cold hands and feet
- has pale, blotchy, blue or grey skin
- has a weak, high-pitched cry that's not like their usual cry
- is drowsy and hard to wake
- is extremely agitated (does not stop crying) or is confused
- finds it hard to breathe and sucks their stomach in under their ribs
- has a soft spot on their head that curves outwards
- is not responding like they usually do, or not interested in feeding or usual activities
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:
Links to more information about coronavirus
Government information and advice
- GOV.UK: coronavirus – guidance and support
- GOV.UK: coronavirus action plan
- GOV.UK: coronavirus advice for travellers
NHS test and trace
- GOV.UK: NHS Test and Trace – how it works
- GOV.UK: guidance for contacts of people with possible or confirmed coronavirus
Bereavement advice and support
For information about changes to services and funeral arrangements, see bereavement advice and support.