If you have coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to look after yourself at home. There are a few things you can do to manage mild symptoms. Most people feel better within a few weeks.
You must self-isolate for 10 days if you've tested positive for coronavirus. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital. If you have coronavirus symptoms but have not been tested yet, book a test.
wear loose, comfortable clothing – don’t try to make yourself too cold
drink more fluids – you should be peeing (approximately) every 6 hours
check your pee colour – a pale yellow colour means you’re unlikely to be dehydrated, while darker pee means you should drink more water
take paracetamol if you have a temperature – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
keep your room at a comfortable temperature
make sure fresh air is circulating
Phone 111 if:
- you’re severely thirsty and peeing less
- you feel lightheaded or weak
- you have new, severe muscle cramps
You should also phone 111 if your symptoms worsen or if you notice new symptoms.
Treating a coronavirus cough at home
It’s also safe to treat most coughs at home. There are some things you can do to help ease and relieve a coronavirus cough.
take pain medication such as paracetamol – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
drink enough fluids to keep you hydrated – this is particularly important if you’ve just woken up
drink warm drinks as they have a soothing effect
Fluids that keep you hydrated include water, diluted squash and fruit juice.
To reduce the spread to others you should:
- cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- wash your hands regularly
- put tissues in the bin
- sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you don’t have a tissue
Phone 111 if:
- you’re coughing up blood
- you have chest pain
- you have shortness of breath that’s new or worsening
Get an isolation note for work
You can send an isolation note to your employer as proof you need to stay off work because of coronavirus.
You don’t need to get a note (sick line) from a GP.
Get an isolation note
Hospital discharge information
If you've been treated in hospital for coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be discharged to recover at home. There'll be a clinical assessment to make sure this is right for you.
Adults managing symptoms at home
You should follow our self-care advice to manage any symptoms you may still have at home.
What if I get worse when I get home?
Most people with coronavirus will gradually get better at home and make a full recovery. However, if your symptoms get worse at home you should phone 111 and tell them you have coronavirus. You should do this particularly if:
- breathlessness develops or worsens
- you have severe thirst and are peeing less than normal
- you feel lightheaded or become very weak
- you develop new or severe muscle cramps
- you have symptoms that you can no longer manage at home
If you have a cough, this can last longer than 7 days. If you have no other symptoms you don’t need to seek extra help.
Postnatal managing symptoms at home
If you’ve just had a baby but also have coronavirus and have been admitted to hospital, you should follow the advice above.
If there’s a medical emergency and you need to phone 111 or 999, tell the call handler that you’ve just had a baby.
It’s very unlikely that you will have passed coronavirus on to your child.
Read our pregnancy and newborn babies advice for more information.
Managing your child’s symptoms at home
If your child has been in hospital with symptoms of coronavirus, you should follow our self-care advice to manage any symptoms your child may still have at home.
What if my child’s symptoms get worse at home?
Most children and babies with coronavirus will gradually get better at home and make a full recovery. However, if you’re worried about your child or baby you should phone 111 and tell them your child or baby has coronavirus. You should do this particularly if:
- they start breathing very fast
- they’re very thirsty and peeing less than normal
- they’re not feeding or eating (children younger than 5)
- they keep vomiting
- they start to get a very high temperature again
- their symptoms can no longer be managed at home
If your child or baby has a cough, this can last longer than 7 days. If they have no other symptoms you don’t need to seek extra help.
If they’re very unwell and seem to be getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, phone 999.
Informing your GP or other care providers
The hospital or assessment centre will update your GP that you or your child have been assessed for or admitted to hospital for coronavirus. You don’t need to phone your GP to let them know.
You should phone other care providers such as your midwife, your child’s nursery or other care providers to let them know.