Short answers to questions you might have
As at September our world leading scientists have made great progress in understanding the virus, but the fact remains there is no vaccine - so washing your hands, covering your face and keeping your distance remain your best defence against becoming infected.
Where can I get the latest government information on coronavirus?
If you want access to all government advice on coronavirus you'll find it here .
What can I do to help?
Follow the expert advice
- HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
- FACE - Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).
Volunteer to help
To become a national volunteer you can sign up here.
When should I self-isolate?
The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange.Self-isolation will save lives - it's important you follow the guidance if you're affected.- more information can be found here.
ow should I look after myself when I self-isolate?
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink plenty of water (fluids)
- Eat as health food
- To reduce pain and fever take paracetamol (if you use other mediation get in touch with your care provider)
- Keep in contact with friends and family by phone, video and online
How can I get a coronavirus sick note?
Online isolation and sick notes have been introduced to help employees prove they have to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Isolation notes are available to people who can not work for more than seven days, including those who are not showing symptoms but live with someone who does. Get your isolation note here.
Can I get a test?
Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus can apply for a test.
Do I need to wear a face covering?
Sometimes. Increasing evidence shows that wearing face coverings can protect the wearer and others from infection - so there are a number of situations in which you must wear a face covering.
What financial support can I get?
The Government have introduced significant measures to protect the financial resilience of individual and businesses, for example if you get sick, but it's worth exploring other financial support advice too.
- Government financial support and advice
- This up-to-date guide from the Money Advice Service is easy to follow and filled with good advice about Government initiatives, sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits during this challenging time.
- The advice and benefits and grants calculators at Turn2Us are useful to get support if the coronavirus has had a negative impact on your finances.
I'm worried about paying my tax - is there any help?
Yes. HMRC staff are running a COVID-19 dedicated helpline for businesses and self-employed being run by HMRC Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm - 0800 0159 559 who will discuss possible remedies such as:
- agreeing an instalment arrangement
- suspending debt collection proceedings
- cancelling penalties and interest
Self-assessment tax payments are deferred until January 2021.
How much can I put on a contactless bank card?
To help manage through the coronavirus the limit has been increased to £45.00 from April the 1st.
Can I get up-to-date news about coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Yes sign up here (check your junk mail for the confirmation email).
Can I still shop online and is it safe?
Yes. Online sites, postal and delivery services will run as usual to ensure people can access essential goods. You won't have to sign for goods and they should be delivered to your home leaving a safe distance.
Can I take my pet to the vet?
Vets are open but practices have been asked to provide emergency services only and face-to-face contact should be limited. So only use the vet for urgent or emergency medical care.
Should I use hand sanitiser gel or soap and water?
You should wash your hands with soap and water for at last 20 seconds regularly but particularly when you return home. If you're out and about and cannot get access to soap and water cleaning your hands thoroughly with hand sanitiser gel can be effective against the virus.
Can I move house?
Yes - the most recent Government advice is that you can sell your home and move home. This should be done following the Government guidelines provided here..