Public Health Advice
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
This page contains information, advice and support about:
- Stopping the infection spreading
- Latest government guidance
- Test & Trace
- Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
- Medical help
- Travelling safety on public transport
Winter 2021 update - For information about protecting yourself this winter with booster jabs, and flu jabs, follow this link to NHS North West London. Information on this site is available in many languages.
Everyone should follow the latest NHS advice about coronavirus.
Doctors of the World have translated the latest NHS advice into 36 languages, visit the Doctors of the World website for more information and to access this information in another language.
The 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)
- A loss of smell or taste (also called anosmia)
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to self-isolate for 10 days.
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
If you need help, use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Find out more about self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms
Stopping the infection spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with Covid-19
- 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
- Wash your hands as soon as you get back home
- 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
- Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Get tested regularly, even if you feel fine.
Find out more about Test and Trace.
The Government paused the NHS Shielding Programme for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people on 31 July 2020.
Read more advice, guidance and details of the support available for people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable
If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
- For health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
- For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
- For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance
Read more advice about getting medical help at home.
If you need to travel, Transport for London advises cycling, walking or driving. This is to help ensure there is enough space for those who need to travel on public transport to do so safely.
Passengers are encouraged where possible to:
- Keep two metres apart from others
- Use contactless payment
- Avoid the rush hour
- Wash hands before and after travel
- Follow advice from staff.
Face coverings are still encouraged on public transport across London.
If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists
Having diabetes does not mean you are more likely to catch coronavirus. However, if you do catch coronavirus, it can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with diabetes.
Post Covid Syndrome (Long Covid)
For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or long covid.
If you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus and they worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, use the NHS 111 online service. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.