Coronavirus update (March 2021)

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What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, is a new illness, a virus that can affect your lungs and airways.

Anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work. Those people should self-isolate for at least 10 days, as should those in their households for 10 days.

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following symptoms. Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

If you are concerned about your symptoms, or you feel you are unable to manage your symptoms at home, Use the 111 online coronavirus service. The 111 online coronavirus service will ask about your symptoms and tell you what to do.

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance from people not in your household (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

The Government is advising that people in England should aim to wear a face covering in some circumstances, and is a legal requirement on public transport.

For more information around the face covering aspects of staying safe and alert outside your home, click here.

To view the guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable, click here.

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can get a free test to check if they have the virus which you can read more about here, and to read about the NHS Test and Trace service click here.

At the moment it can be hard to know what to do if you're unwell, and it's obviously still important to get medical help if you need it. To read the NHS guidance, please click here.

How to help safely

Across the UK people are playing their part and providing essential support to their friends and family who are in isolation. For guidance on how to help safely visit the website. For a copy of the Easy Read version, click here

National lockdown: Stay at home 

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow Government guidance immediately. Guidance can be found on the Government website.

Coronavirus vaccine roll-out

For queries about the coronavirus vaccine, please visit

Vaccine update - MHRA response to to Irish authorities’ action to temporarily suspend the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

It has not been confirmed that the reports of blood clots were caused by the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

You can read this response in more detail on the Government website.

Restoring our services (updated Sep 2020)

When coronavirus cases were high, some services were paused to allow health and care professionals to focus on responding to the virus and reduce the chances of infection. Now, thanks to the hard work of staff and the public, most healthcare services have been restored.

To keep everyone safe, services may be delivered in different ways, such as by telephone or video consultation. Face-to-face services have been organised to minimise the risk of you coming into contact with coronavirus. This means that, if you are required to attend a face-to-face appointment, you will be asked to wear a face covering, use hand sanitiser and follow instructions to maintain social distancing.

It's important that patients feel safe when they come to access care, so we have been working to reassure the public that our health services are open and safe to use in a number of ways, including radio adverts, media activity and producing videos to show patients what to expect ahead of their hospital visit.

Health and care services will continue to look a little different for some time. In the meantime, we've been listening to your views and experiences of these services so that we can improve and adapt them for you. If you have any experience you'd like to share with us, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remember: the NHS is here for you. Services have been organised to minimise the risk of coming into contact with coronavirus, so if you have any health symptoms that are worrying you, don't ignore them: speak to your GP or use NHS 111.

Watch our Doodle video (below), which explains how health and care services are being delivered in a different way, as well as what safety measures to expect when attending an appointment at your GP practice or local hospital. The video is available in English, Polish, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, Romanian, Gujarati, Arabic and Somali.


Health services are still here for you:

An important message from Dr Mohit Mandiratta #HelpUsHelpYou COVID-19

Managing your medicine during COVID 19 with the Head of Medicine Quality, Jonathan Boyd: 

Advice for adults accessing health services during the Coronavirus pandemic with Dr Anand Rischie: 

Other languages are available here.

Help if you have had Covid-19

Your Covid Recovery is a new NHS website designed to help people recover from the long-term effects of coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19. If you have had Covid-19, you may still have some physical symptoms, such as, breathlessness, a cough and a lack of energy. You may also have psychological symptoms, such as feeling scared or anxious, depressed, having trouble sleeping and struggling to remember or concentrate.

These symptoms, both physical and psychological, are common. Your Covid Recovery includes information from experts about how to manage them and look after your health and wellbeing. It also includes information on returning to work, and a helpful section for family, friends and carers of people who are recovering.