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 you need to do if have symptoms
Stay home and self-isolate for 10 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 coronavirus are are fever, a persistent or new cough, and loss of sense of smell and taste.
Book a coronavirus test:
- 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 10 days.
The 10 days start from when your symptoms started. If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days start from when you had the test.
Self-isolation means to stay at home in order to stop the spread of the virus.
- When to self-isolate and what to do - nhs.uk website
Self-isolation - when day one starts.
- With regards to the 14 day isolation, we take the day of contact with the infectious person as day zero and the following day as day one. 14 full days are to be completed in isolation, rather than completing/ getting on with life at day 14.
If you are self-isolating you must:
- not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
- not go on public transport or use taxis
- not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
- not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
- not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one
When can I stop isolating
You can stop self-isolating after 10 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.
If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.
The information and form for completion are located on the following page
What to do if you live alone and need to self-isolate
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.
I have tested positive for coronavirus, what should members of my household 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 test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), you can help contact people who may have caught the virus from you.
After you get a positive test result, you may be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
You'll be asked for information about where you've been recently and who you've been in close contact with.
This will help the NHS contact anyone who may also have caught the virus.
How you'll be contacted
You'll be contacted by email, text or phone.
Text messages will come from NHStracing. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.
Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian's permission to continue the call.
What you'll be asked to do
You may be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website:
- NHS Test and Trace - nhs.uk website
On the contact tracing website, you'll be asked for information including:
- your name, date of birth and postcode
- if you live with other people
- any places you've been recently, such as a workplace or school
- names and contact details of any people you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started (if you know these details)
If you cannot use the contact tracing website, you'll be asked for this information over the phone.
If you use the NHS COVID-19 app, you can also choose to alert other app users who have spent time near you that they might be at risk.
NHS Test and Trace will not:
- ask for bank details or payments
- ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
- ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
- ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
- How your information will be used
All information you provide to NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app is confidential.
No one who is contacted will be told your identity.
People you've been in close contact with will be told to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days.
This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.
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.