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Public Health Advice

Medical assistance

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. 

NHS 111 

Things to read


Things to do


Information in other languages

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Symptoms and advice

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 7 days.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

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

Test and Trace

The Government has recently launched NHS Test and Trace. This means that anyone with coronavirus symptoms will be tested and their close contacts traced.

Everyone will need to do the following to help reduce the spread of the virus and save lives:

  • If you develop symptoms, you should ask for a test online. You will also need to self-isolate for 7 days and everyone in your household will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

  • If the test comes back positive, the NHS Test and Trace team will get in touch via text, email or phone call. You’ll be asked where you've been recently and who you've been in close contact with. This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you.

  • If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has the virus, you must follow their instructions and stay at home for 14 days.

Staying safe: NHS Test & Trace employees will never ask for financial details, PINs or banking passwords over the phone, and tracers will not be making any home visits.

Find out more about NHS Test and Trace.

Harlesden Testing Site

A new COVID-19 testing site has opened in Harlesden Town Garden for local residents. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, live in or near Harlesden and can wear a face covering:

  • Call 020 8937 4440 to book an appointment.

Appointments are available every day from 10am-5pm.

Find out more about the Harlesden Testing Site

Protect yourself and others

Staying at home

It is still very important that people stay home as much as possible.

You must only leave the house for limited reasons, including:

  • For work, if you cannot work from home

  • Going to shops that are open, to get things like food and medicine and to collect items ordered online or on the phone

  • For exercise or to spend time outdoors

  • Any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

If you do need to go out, it’s important everyone follows social distancing rules – which means staying 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Find out more about what you can and can't do

Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Guidance if you’re on the ‘shielded’ list

If you have been asked to ‘shield’ yourself because you’re most at risk of coronavirus, you can now safely spend time outdoors.

If you decide to do this:

  • Always stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people

  • Try not to leave your home more than once a day

  • Go out on your own or with people you live with

  • If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one other person - ideally the same person each time

  • Go outside when there are fewer people around, such as early in the morning

  • Do not go anywhere indoors such as into shops

For more information on how to protect yourself if you’re at high risk, please see the NHS advice for people at high risk from coronavirus.

Find out more about staying at home and how you can protect yourself and others.

Find out the latest information and advice if you are shielding

How to stop infection spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.


  • 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

Do not:

  • Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Looking after your health and wellbeing

To help yourself stay well while you're at home:

  • Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
  • Try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
  • Do light exercise at home, or outside – see NHS fitness studio for exercises you can do at home

If you are feeling anxious, stressed or experiencing a low mood - you can get focused support by phone, video call or through online treatments by accessing the Brent Talking Therapies service. Call 020 8206 3924 or visit the Talking Therapies website for further information.

For more advice on looking after your health and wellbeing, see:

What to do if you need medical help

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.

Travelling safely on public transport

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
  • Wear a face covering
  • Use contactless payment
  • Avoid the rush hour
  • Wash hands before and after travel
  • Follow advice from staff.

More advice on walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus outbreak

Pregnancy advice

If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists

Diabetes advice

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.

Coronavirus guidance for people living with diabetes from NHS North West London

Dental advice

Routine dental treatment is postponed until further notice - routine face-to-face dental services have been suspended all over the country due to COVID-19.

Find more information on Dentists and Covid-19, including what to do if you have an urgent dental problem.

  • If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has the virus, you must follow their instructions and stay at home for 14 days.

Find out more about NHS Test and Trace.

Coping with the heat and COVID-19

The Heatwave Plan for England is a plan which aims to protect people from heat-related harm to health. Although many people welcome the summer sun, high temperatures can be harmful to your health. The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. Many of those who are at risk of harm from heat are also at greater risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 and may need to spend more time at home than they would usually. Others may need to stay at home because they are self-isolating or recovering from the infection.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important that you know what actions to take to keep yourself and others safe from high temperatures.

To find out more about what steps you can take to beat the heat, check out the Heatwave Plan for England