Symptoms and what you should do
Latest Government advice
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
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
We can all help to protect ourselves and our families by following good hygiene practices.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
- loss of smell or taste
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
How long to stay at home
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
- if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days, starting on day the first person got symptoms
- it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
- for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
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.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
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
Please also follow advice issued by Public Health England and the NHS. The current advice is to:
- 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- avoid touching your face or eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean
Where do I find trusted information about coronavirus?
As with any new illness, there is a lot of inaccurate information in the public space. Please use trusted sources for your information:
For the public - The GOV.UK website has regular updates
The NHS website gives information on the virus and how to prevent it spreading
The NHS also gives advice on coronavirus, specifically for parents
Travel advice has been provided by the Government and will be updated regularly
The Public Health EnglandTwitter account provides the latest advice, facts and figures as they are announced
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council:
What organisations are involved in dealing with this?
The local NHS and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are working closely with Public Health England and the Department for Health & Social Care to respond to the national situation.
We work together with slightly different roles:
- Department for Health & Social Care: the Chief Medical Officer for England confirms each incident
- Public Health England co-ordinate the response, information and advice on the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
- NHS: local and national NHS services are working on the front line to test individuals, and provide advice through calls to NHS 111
- Southend-on-Sea Borough Council provides local public health leadership, working in partnership to safeguard the borough