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:


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.

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

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 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

Latest government guidance

Covid-19 restrictions are set to loosen slowly across England as part of a four stage process set out by the government. Find out more about the four stages and what you can and cannot do.

While this offers some hope for the future, it is important that everyone continues to follow the rules and gets tested regularly, even if you feel fine.

Test and Trace

Find out more about Test and Trace in Brent.

Face coverings

The use of 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. 

With face masks here to stay for some time now, we all need to be mindful of the barrier they can create for communicating with Deaf people, who may rely on lip reading. Consider using face mask with a clear panel or writing things down when you communicate with people from the Deaf community.

From Friday 24 July 2020 you must wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets.

You must also continue to wear face coverings when:

  • Using public transport, like buses or the Tube
  • Visiting a hospital, as an outpatient or visitor, and
  • In enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible.

You don’t need to wear your face covering outdoors, while exercising or in schools and offices.

Children under the age of 11 and people who may find it difficult to wear a face covering, because of a disability or breathing difficulty, do not need to wear one.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

The Government paused the NHS Shielding Programme for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people on 31 July 2020.

However, from 5 November 2020, following new national restrictions, the government has advised anyone who is CEV to:

  • Stay at home as much as possible, although you can still go outside to exercise
  • Continue with medical and NHS appointments unless these are cancelled
  • Don’t go to work – although you should work from home if you can
  • Avoid shops and pharmacies

Read more advice, guidance and details of the support available for people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable

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


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.

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

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