Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - advice for the public

Visiting a medical setting

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 or shivering (chills) – a high temperature 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
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.

You will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. Stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people.

You will not have to take daily tests or be legally required to self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Learn about getting a test 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.

Do

  • 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

Don't:

  • 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

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.

Vaccinations

All adults in England have now been offered at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective. Getting fully vaccinated is the best way of protecting you and others against COVID-19.

If you have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, you should get vaccinated. Evidence indicates that 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide very effective protection against hospitalisation. It usually takes around 2 to 3 weeks for your body to develop its protective response.

To maintain this high level of protection, you should also get a booster vaccine for COVID-19 when offered. 

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 will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19, but if you can, stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

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. Take a look at 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

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.

Ok