COVID-19 - what you need to know

Medical Sick Notes

Due to the current pandemic and pressure on General Practice, we are prioritising the urgent medical needs of our patients and will not be providing a medical certificate for absence relating to the Coronavirus.

If you are off work due to the Coronavirus and need a sick note, visit page medical sick notes for more information.

Explaining Coronavirus to Children

Resources explaining about how Coronavirus affects kids in various European languages. Simple and effective messages – Corona Virus Book For Children

What is coronavirus and should I be concerned?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

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

What are the signs and symptoms of this new virus?

The symptoms of this new coronavirus (COVID-19) include cough, fever, shortness of breath, or flu-like symptoms.

What’s the current travel advice?

Find out the latest travel advice on the FCO’s guidance page.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

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.

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has (23 March 2020) introduced three new measures.


  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, to only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public. Keep social distances and stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:


  • always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze (not with your hands). Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel
  • wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds each time with soap and water or hand sanitiser, especially when you:
    • get home or into work
    • blow your nose, sneeze or cough
    • eat or handle food
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell


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

Is hand sanitiser effective?

The best way to protect yourself from infections like coronavirus is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water. If soap or water aren’t available and your hands are visibly clean, then sanitiser gel can be used. But proper hand washing is the most effective method and this should be your first choice.

What to do if you think you might have coronavirus

If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:

  • You must stay at home and self isolate for seven days and avoid contact with other people.
  • Do not come into the surgery, a pharmacy or a hospital.
  • You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you are staying at home.

If you are concerned that your symptoms are getting worse contact the NHS 111 service.

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’ve recovered.

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