To find out what to do if you think you have symptoms, please visit Coronavirus symptom checker. Or visit our encyclopaedia page, which has general information and includes a BSL video.

NOTE: For up to date information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the UK Department of Health and Social Care.

Advice for everyone

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Important

These 4 reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

How to stop infection spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get back home
  • 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

Don't

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

Looking after your health and wellbeing

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

What to do if you need medical help

If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the coronavirus symptom checker.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS Direect Wales website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or 111 if available in your area
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

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.

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Advice for people at high risk

Who's at high risk from coronavirus

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, but there are some people who are at a higher risk.

You may be at increased risk from coronavirus if you:

  • are 70 or older
  • are pregnant
  • have a condition that may increase your risk from coronavirus

Conditions that may increase your risk:

  • lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis
  • heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • conditions affecting the brain and nerves, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you've had your spleen removed 
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • being very overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

  The advice for people who may be at increased risk from coronavirus is the same as for most other people.If you're at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.

You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – 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

Pregnancy advice

If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get specific advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

People most at risk

People most at risk from coronavirus are sometimes called "shielded" or "extremely vulnerable" people.

This includes people who:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition or are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

People most at risk are being contacted by the NHS.

Speak to your GP or care team if you have not been contacted and think you should have been.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

People most at risk from coronavirus need to take extra steps to avoid getting it. This is known as "shielding".

It's recommended you follow this advice for at least 12 weeks.

Do

  • stay at home at all times – do not leave your home to buy food, collect medicine or exercise
  • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people in your home as much as possible
  • get food and medicine delivered and left outside your door – ask friends and family to help
  • prepare a hospital bag, including a list of the medicines you're taking – in case you need to go into hospital
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • make sure anyone who comes into your home washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • clean objects and surfaces you touch often (like door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
  • clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched

Don't

  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family, unless they're providing essential care
  • do not stop taking any prescription medicines without speaking to your doctor

How to look after your wellbeing

Staying at home and reducing contact with other people can be hard.

There are things you can try to help you to stay well:

  • stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
  • spend time doing things you enjoy – such as reading, cooking, indoor hobbies, listening to the radio or watching TV
  • do light exercise at home
  • spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air
  • spend time in your garden or on your doorstep, if possible – but stay at least 2 metres away from other people
  • read the advice about how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home from Every Mind Matters
Information:

See the full advice on protecting yourself from coronavirus if you're extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK.

 

People with certain health conditions

Some charities and organisations have worked with the NHS to produce specific advice about coronavirus.

 

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Symptoms and what to do

Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • 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.

Use the Coronavirus Symptom Checker to find out what to do.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

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Self isolation information

Self-isolation helps stop coronavirus spreading

Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

This is called self-isolation.

If you are self-isolating, you must:

  • not leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people
  • not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
  • not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home

You can use your garden, if you have one.

If you're not sure if you need to self-isolate

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the Coronavirus Symptom Checker to find out what to do.

How long to self-isolate

If you have symptoms

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to self-isolate for 7 days.

After 7 days:

  • if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
  • if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal

You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

If you live with someone who has symptoms

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms.

If you get symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days.

If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.

After self-isolation

You still need to stay at home when you finish self-isolating, but you can go out for essential trips such as buying food.

Get a self-isolation note to give to your employer

If you have symptoms of a coronavirus, need to stay at home, or are self-isolating because someone in your household has symptoms, use the online symptom checker for a self-isolation note.

If you have symptoms and live with a vulnerable person

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 arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from each other. If possible, try not to share a bed.

Reducing the spread of infection in your home

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds
  • 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
  • clean objects and surfaces you touch often (like door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
  • clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched

Don't

  • do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels

Treating coronavirus symptoms at home

To help yourself stay well while you're at home:

  • rest and sleep
  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
  • take paracetamol to lower your temperature

Can I take Ibuprofen if I have coronavirus?

There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.

If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.

What to do if you need medical help while self-isolating

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. 

This may be because:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse

If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, you may be able to get help online or over the phone.

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Information in BSL

The following video provides information about coronavirus (COVID19) in British Sign Language (BSL) 

 

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The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 01/04/2020 11:22:31