On 4 January, it was announced that England is now in a national lockdown. People are only allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:
- Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
- Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
- Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.
- Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).
- Attend education or childcare - for those eligible.
If you do have to go out, please remember to be vigilant, and to follow the latest ‘hands, face, space’ guidance.
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.
If you leave your home, you must ensure that you practice social distancing by staying two metres apart. Advice on how to stay safe outside your home can be found here.
It is now mandatory to wear a face covering when visiting shops and supermarkets. GOV.UK has shared guidance on when to wear a face covering, and how you can make your own.
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:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- 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.
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
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.
How Coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
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:
- Ask for a test to check if you have coronavirus
- What your test result means
- NHS Test and Trace: if you're contacted after testing positive
- NHS Test and Trace: if you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus
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.
- Advice in alternative languages
- Coronavirus: deadling with bereavement and grief (Cruse Bereavement Care)
- Advice for people with diabetes and COVID-19
- Advice for people invited for TB treatment or investigation
- Cancer and Coronavirus
- FAQs for highest clinical risk patients
- Guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing