Infection Control

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms

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 find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

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

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

It is particularly important for people who:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system

Do

wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

always wash your hands when you get home or into work

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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards

avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus

only travel on public transport if you need to

work from home, if you can

avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas

avoid events with large groups of people

use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Don’t

  • do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

If you’re at high risk

The NHS will contact you from Monday 23 March 2020 if you are at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus. You’ll be given specific advice about what to do.

Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.

Who is at risk?

You may be at a particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe chest condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have another serious health condition

How coronavirus is spread

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

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.