The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- 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)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
What should I do if I think I have Covid-19 symptoms?
Stay home and self-isolate for 7 days. Members of your household should self-isolate at home too for 14 days from the point where you started having symptoms.
The symptoms of Covid-19 are are fever, a persistent or new cough, and loss of sense of smell and taste.
Book a Covid-19 test immediately:
- Get a coronavirus test - nhs.uk website
- or call 119 if you do not have internet access.
The test is most accurate in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
You should isolate yourself if you have any of the symptoms and only leave your house when going to get your test.
If you have tested positive for Coronavirus you need to self-isolate for at least 7 days.
The 7 days starts from when your symptoms started. If you have not had symptoms, the 7 days starts from when you had the test.
When can I stop isolating
You can stop self-isolating after 7 days if either:
- you do not have any symptoms
- you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone
Keep self-isolating if you feel unwell and consider contacting your GP if you have not already done so.
I have tested positive for Coronavirus, what should members of my household and people I have been in contact with do?
The people living within your household, those who are part of your support bubble or any other people you have been in contact with will also have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. This starts from:
- when the first person in your home or support bubble started having symptoms
- the day they were tested, if they have not had symptoms
- if you aren’t in the same household, the last contact with the person who tested positive
This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
They can stop self-isolating after 14 days if they do not get symptoms.
If you have tested positive for Coronavirus the people in your household can also be tested, even if they don’t have symptoms.
If people in your household test negative they are asked to isolate for 14 days as a precaution and because symptoms can take time to appear.
For more information on how they can get a test, visit the NHS website:
- Get a free NHS test - nhs.uk website
What does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation means to stay at home in order to stop the spread of the virus.
Therefore, please do not do the following:
- do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
- do not go on public transport or use taxis
- do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
- do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
- do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one
I live alone and need to self-isolate. What do I do?
If you are unable to leave the house and don’t have a trusted friend, neighbour or family member to help you with shopping etc. we have a dedicated helpline you can call:
- Helpline 0161 770 7007.
The helpline is there to assist with food, medicine, finance and loneliness and is available Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.
Test and Trace procedure
If you have tested positive for Coronavirus you will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team within 24 hours by email, text or phone.
Text messages will come from NHStracing and calls will come from 0300 0135000.
You will be asked to provide:
- your name
- date of birth
You will also be asked to provide the contact details of the people you have come into close, recent contact with and any places you have visited.
Once you have provided this information the Contact Tracing Team will then contact these people, and they will be told to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms.
Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian's permission to continue the call.
This service is in place to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum.
How will I know that someone making contact with me is from the NHS Test and Trace service?
You will know you are being contacted legitimately because Contact Tracers will not ask for the following:
- ask you to make any form of payment
- ask any details about your bank account
- ask you for any passwords or PINs
- ask you to download anything
Negative Coronavirus test
Your household can stop isolating immediately.
Sometimes you can get a false negative - depending on what stage the test was taken - that’s why it’s so important to have the test in the first 5 days of symptoms.
But, as long as you feel well you can stop self- isolating immediately. If you are still feeling unwell contact the NHS 111 service or your doctor online or on the phone to get advice.
If you have been identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive you will still need to isolate at home for 14 days, even if you test negative.