Do not leave home if you (or someone in your household) has coronavirus symptoms

It is very important that people with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to others, particularly the most vulnerable.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you or someone that you live with has either:

  • a high temperature - you feel hot to touch on your chest or back


  • a new, continuous cough - this means you've started coughing repeatedly

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, you should all stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days.

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Read the NHS advice about staying at home.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. You will not be tested if you are self-isolating with mild symptoms. 

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home

  • your condition gets worse

  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How to self-isolate if you need to

Self-isolating at home will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.

This means you should:

  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public places (not even to get food/medicine)
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home. Ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
  • stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions
  • sleep alone, if that is possible
  • regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds

Read more coronavirus self-isolation advice.

How to get help getting food/medicines?

From Tuesday 24 March, Richmond Council (LBRuT) are launching a new helpline as a first response for residents, particularly those elderly and/or vulnerable without support networks, who need support to access medical/care services and food supplies. This is to help those most in need stay safe and well while they self-isolate at home.

0208 871 6555 or

Diagram of stay at home guidance

How long do I have to self-isolate if a second person in your household gets symptoms? Find out in the helpful diagram for download below.

Advice about how to to keep good mental wellbeing while spending long periods at home. 

If you or someone in your household does not have possible symptoms of coronavirus then you should be following the stay at home rules

What's the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?

The NHS and Public Health England are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal. The government published its coronavirus action plan on 3 March.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public to High. 

What's the risk of coronavirus to travellers?

There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

Update 23 March: The Foreign Secretary advises all British travellers to return to the UK now.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a high temperature

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

How coronavirus is spread

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. 

It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. 

Treatment for coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

Looking for further information about coronavirus?

We have brought together the latest information about coronavirus including how you can get involved and help your community, and how to help your wellbeing during these uncertain times. 

FInd out more