COVID-19: Official health information and guidance

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus which has been spreading since it was first reported in December 2019.

Symptoms include fever and respiratory symptoms including coughing and shortness of breath. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Symptoms of COVID-19

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness, but however mild your symptoms, you should stay at home.

Visit the NHS coronavirus webpage for the latest advice and guidance.

Read Government information and advice in other languages and accessible formats.

Latest Government information

July 2020

You can find the latest information on the situation in the UK on the GOV.UK website.

For information on symptoms, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you think you might have coronavirus, visit the NHS coronavirus webpage.

How to stay well

The Government regularly updates national guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, residents are reminded:

  • Continue to work from home if you can
  • Keep your distance if you go out (1 metre apart if 2 metres is not possible)
  • Two households are now able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures - read the updated guidance on social distancing 
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
  • Wear a mask on public transport and if you are going into a shop from 24 July (or face a fine of up to £100)
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
  • If you test positive for coronavirus – provide details of contacts

These documents provide more detailed advice on the new government guidance:

In addition to UK measures there is guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. The guidance is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of a serious underlying health condition.
From 6 July 2020, guidance for people shielding changed, including the ability for shielding individual to form a support bubble. See the full guidance.

​From 1 August 2020 the Government will pause shielding. See our web pages on how to get help.​

More information on coronavirus testing and Local Outbreak Plan.

Updated: 15 July 2020