Coronavirus Outbreak 2020

If you have lived with or had close contact (within 2 metres for 15 minutes of more) with a confirmed case of 2019-nCoV, you should contact NHS 111 for further advice.

1. Preventing spread of infection

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • if you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment
  • if you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
  • see further information and the Public Health England Blog

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

2.1 If you have returned from anywhere in Hubei province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days

If you are currently well:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with flu viruses. You can find more information about how to do this
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area
  • your family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities

If you become unwell:

  • please call NHS 111 immediately in order for you to be assessed by an appropriate specialist in hospital, as quickly as possible
  • follow the home isolation advice sheet

2.2 If you have returned from elsewhere in China, or have transited through China, in the last 14 days

If you are well:

  • you do not need to avoid contact with other people
  • your family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities

If you become unwell:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses.
  • follow this home isolation advice sheet
  • call NHS 111 immediately in order for you to be assessed by an appropriate specialist in hospital, as quickly as possible

3. Symptoms and what to do

You should look for any of the following symptoms in the 14 days after the day you return from China:

  • cough
  • difficulty in breathing
  • fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)

If you have any of these symptoms, you should:

  • if it is an emergency, call 999 and explain to them that you have returned from China in the last 14 days
  • if you are unwell, but it is not an emergency, call NHS 111 and explain to them that you have returned from China in the last 14 days

Whilst you await further advice from NHS 111:

  • avoid contact with others
  • stay at home, do not attend work or school
  • do not travel while sick
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Throw tissues in the bin
  • wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available

Published: Jan 30, 2020