What to do if you have coronavirus and how to protect yourself

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

I have symptoms of coronavirus:

If you have: 

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss or change in sense of smell or taste
  • OR have had a positive test result for coronavirus

you must immediately self-isolate for 10 days. Anyone in your household must also self isolate for at least 10 days.

A new illustration by Public Health England on self-isolation guidance is available to view and download: Stay at home illustration [PDF]

Find out more about when and how to self isolate.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, do NOT go to your GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy. 


  • 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
  • wash your hands before putting on and removing your face covering
  • 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
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean


There's a lot of information out there to help explain coronavirus to children, here's a few helpful links:

  • The Children's Commissioner for England have created a special guide, a 'Children's Guide to Coronavirus', that can help answer their questions, it also includes advice on how to stay safe, as well as some great ideas for activities. Download guide.
  • Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust have developed a Coronavirus fact sheet for children, that provides information for children to help them understand what Coronavirus is, the importance of hand washing and how to help stop the virus spreading. Download factsheet.


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