COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - advice for the public

Local guidance

England has now moved to step four of the roadmap, meaning that all social distancing rules have been lifted. However, the public is advised to take precautions when out and about, and the following processes are still in place for everyone's protection:

  • Testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
  • Isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries.
  • Cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
    • Whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, Government would expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer
    • Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
    • Being outside or letting fresh air in
    • Minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.

The latest government advice and guidance can be found here.

Staying safe outside your home

The Government has published FAQs on what you can and can't do here.

Although wearing a face covering in hospitality settings is no longer mandatory, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

Visiting a medical setting

Despite government restrictions being lifted on Monday 19 July 2021, healthcare settings will continue to request that patients, staff and visitors adhere to Public Health England’s infection control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance.

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • 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)
  • 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

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

Learn about getting a test here..

Safety advice for patients with suspected coronavirus, who have not been admitted to hospital and will be isolating at home, can be found here.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus 

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.


  • 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
  • Stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside


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

Who is at high risk?

You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:

  • 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 that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • Are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • Are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

If you're at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage - wait to be contacted.

Staying alert and staying safe guidance can be found here.

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.

Treatment for coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

NHS test and trace

For information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, please use the following links:

Coronavirus resources for parents and carers

We know it can be especially difficult for parents to explain what's happening in regards to coronavirus to their children. That's why the NHS has produced the video below to help.


Alternatively, you can also download the fact sheet by clicking here.

We're also found this useful resource that offers ten tips to parents and carers in uncertain times, which you can access here.

Birmingham Carers Hub

The Birmingham Carers Hub has a range of information and resources to help those who care for others during this worrying time. You can access this information here

New mental health support offer

A range of new, easily accessible mental health support is now available for patients in Birmingham and Solihull. You can find out how to access support for your mental wellbeing here.

Volunteering for the NHS

For information on how to volunteer for the NHS during COVID-19, click here.

More information

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