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COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.
You can only leave your home:
Continue to stay at home if you have either:
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.
If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Read more advice about getting medical help at home.
If you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
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
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.
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.
If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to stay off work.
You do not need to get a note from a GP.
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