Coronavirus Advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Sources of Information and Support


Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) Depart for Education (DfE) Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Health & Safety Executive (HSE) National Health Service (NHS) Public Health England (PHE) World Health Organization (WHO)

Current guidance on seeking medical advice (

People returning from Northern Italy on or after 19 February 2020

On 22 February, the government of Italy introduced extraordinary measures that allow regions to implement civil protection measures in response to Coronavirus. This includes the isolation of the following small towns in Lombardy:

•            Codogno, •            Castiglione d’Adda, •            Casalpusterlengo, •            Fombio, •            Maleo, •            Somaglia, •            Bertonico, •            Terranova dei Passerini, •            Castelgerundo •            San Fiorano


•            One town in Veneto: Vo’Euganeo.

Details are on the website below:

 People returning from any of these towns on or after the 19th February should self-isolate for a period of 14 days.

Anyone with symptoms returning from these towns or the areas below should self-isolate and dial 111 for advice.

The regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte and Emilia Romagna have announced measures that include the suspension of events that include meeting in public or private places, the suspension of schools and higher education and the suspension on the opening of museums and other cultural institutions for seven days. Latest figures report 88 cases in Lombardy, 24 in Veneto, 6 in Piemonte, 9 in Emilia Romagna and 2 in Lazio (as of 23 February).

Following advice from the Local Authority, those pupils who are self-isolating after returning from Northern Italy should be recorded on the attendance register as code ‘Y – unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances’.

People returning from other countries

Call 111 now if you’ve been:

  • to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)


  • to other parts of mainland China in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)


  • to Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)


  • (anywhere in the world including the UK and Europe) and beenin close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus.

Special care zones in South Korea

•    Daegu

•    Cheongdo

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.  Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.  Tell 111 about any recent travel and any symptoms you have.

Seeking medical advice

Call Public Health England on 0344 225 0562 for information or advice about controlling infectious diseases in a work environment like a nursery, school, or college only if the current published guidance does not adequately address your specific concerns.

Call the NHS on 111 when in the UK and you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency e.g. if:

  • you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.  111 seems to be quite overwhelmed with enquiries and it is an urgent care helpline which needs to be kept available for people in need of urgent care, so the GP or pharmacist is likely to be people’s best source of information if the published guidance does not adequately address their specific concerns.

Current advice on the spread and treatment coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.  Because it’s a new illness, we don’t 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.  Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

There are things you can do to help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading.


  • Wash your hands often using soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel (containing at least 60% alcohol) can be used if soap and water are not available, but is not a substitute for hand washing
  • When sneezing or coughing ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it!’
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands)
  • immediately throw used tissues in the bin
  • wash your hands
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


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

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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