Applies to: England (see guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)
COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take to fight coronavirus is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, you must:
- Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
- Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
- Close certain businesses and venues.
These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:
- prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
- ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
- ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work
These measures will be underpinned by law. Police and other authorities will have powers to give fines and break up gatherings.
There is separate guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.
For full details visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#stay-at-home
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.
How to stop the infection spreading
There are also other things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and other people getting ill with coronavirus.
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Watch the NHS how to on handwashing https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get 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
- if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it's hard to stay away from people, such as on public transport – see staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
What to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms?
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
Get a test to check if you have coronavirus on GOV.UK
Contact NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you're worried about your symptoms
- you're not sure what to do
Visit: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ or call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.
Babies and children
Call 111 if you're worried about a baby or child under 5. If your child seems very unwell, is 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 here: coronavirus in children.
Looking after your health and wellbeing
To help yourself stay well while you're at home:
What to do if you need medical help
It's still important to get medical help if you need it, especially if you feel very unwell or think there's something seriously wrong.
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
- If you need to contact a GP, use the GP surgery's website, use an online service or app, or call the surgery.
- For urgent medical help, use the regular NHS 111 online service, or call 111 if you're unable to get help online.
- For life-threatening emergencies call 999 for an ambulance.
If you're advised to go to hospital, it's important to go. Keep going to any appointments you usually have, unless you're told not to.
Read about how to get medical help from home.