General Enquiries

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    Coronavirus – latest update

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

    UK moves into the delay stage

    The UK has moved into the ‘delay’ stage of its response to the coronavirus following an emergency Cobra meeting on Thursday, 12 March.

    From Friday:

    • all people with flu-like symptoms – a fever above 37.8 C or a persistent cough – should self-isolate (stay at home, away from other people) for seven days
    • there are no closures for schools but this will be reviewed on a regular basis
    • schools will be advised not to take trips abroad
    • older people and those with pre-existing health conditions should avoid cruises

    Further measures will be taken as the number of coronavirus infections moves towards its peak:

    • Older people and those with health conditions will be advised to cut social contact and stay at home
    • If someone in your home falls ill, the whole household will be told to isolate itself for 14 days
    • It is hoped these steps could significantly reduce the number of infections and cut deaths by up to a third.

    Updated information for countries affected

    If someone has returned from these specific areas in the last 14 days, they should self-isolate even if
    they do not have symptoms. If they do develop symptoms, they should use NHS111 online at (if they have no internet access, they should call NHS111).

    The areas are:

    • Iran
    • Italy – (this applies to the whole of Italy if the individual has returned after 9th March, when the Italian government extended the lockdown to the entire country.)
    • Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
    • Hubei province

    If the individual returned before 9 March and has symptoms, they should use NHS111 online at (if they have no internet access, they should call NHS111).

    If the individual returned before 9 March and does not have symptoms, they should only self isolate if they have been in the original locked-down region of Lombardy and provinces of Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro and Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Vercelli, Padua, Treviso and Venice in the preceding 2 weeks.

    If someone has returned from the following areas in the last 14 days and develops symptoms, however mild, of acute respiratory infection including at least one of:

    • shortness of breath or cough (with or without fever)
    • OR fever with no other symptoms

    they should self-isolate at home immediately and use NHS111 online at (if they have no internet access, they should call NHS111). They do not need to self-isolate if they have no symptoms.

    These areas are:

    • China (except Hubei province which is listed above)
    • Hong Kong
    • Macau
    • Taiwan
    • Japan
    • Malaysia
    • Republic of Korea (except areas which are listed above)
    • Singapore
    • Thailand
    • Vietnam
    • Cambodia
    • Laos
    • Myanmar

    Stop panic buying

    The government is “confident” food supplies will not run out, amid concerns over coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

    Mr Hancock said there was “absolutely no need” for people to buy in excess.

    “The government has supplies of the key things that are needed. And within the food supply, we are absolutely confident that there won’t be a problem there,” he said.

    “Crucially, we are working with the supermarkets to make sure that, if people are self-isolating, then we will be able to get the food and supplies that they need.”

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    Remember: Catch it, Bin it, Kill it

    Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19.

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
    • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
    • Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance
    • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

    The Latest information can be found on the NHS website

    Please ensure any information you do consult is from a reliable sources, including the NHS, or the Public Health England.

    For more information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19)
    Public Health England

    For more information and advice to prepare and stay healthy visit NHS

    For guidance on the safest way to wash your hands, watch this NHS video.