What should I do if I develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature and/or new and continuous cough), self-isolate at home for 7 days.
How can I get assistance with foods and medicines if I’m reducing my social contacts?
You should ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services.
If this isn’t possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. It’s important to speak to others and ask them to help you to make arrangements for:
- essential services and supplies
- looking after your physical health, mental health and wellbeing
If you receive support from health and social care organisations, such as care support through your local authority, this will continue as normal.
Your health or social care provider will be asked to take additional precautions to make sure that you’re protected.
What should I do if you have hospital and GP appointments during this period?
You should access medical assistance remotely (not face-to-face), wherever possible.
If you have a scheduled hospital or medical appointment during this time, talk to your GP or clinician to ensure you continue to receive the care you need. Consider whether appointments can be postponed.
What is the advice for visitors, including those who are providing care for me?
You should let your regular visitors know that you are reducing social contacts and they shouldn’t visit you during this time, unless they are providing essential care for you. Essential care includes things like help with washing, dressing, or preparing meals.
If you receive regular health or social care from an organisation, either through your local authority or paid for by yourself, inform your care providers that you are reducing social contacts and agree a plan for continuing your care.
If you receive essential care from friends or family members, these carers can continue to visit. Carers will be provided with gloves and facemasks to reduce the risk of passing on infection.
It’s also a good idea to speak to your carers about what happens if one of them becomes unwell. If you need help with care but you’re not sure who to contact, your local council should be able to help you.
What is the advice if I live with a vulnerable person?
If you live in a house with a vulnerable person refer to our stay at home guidance.
How do I look after my mental wellbeing?
You may find your mood and feelings are affected by social distancing. You may feel bored, frustrated low or worried and have problems sleeping.
It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse.
There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time, such as:
- Exercise regularly - look for ideas of exercises you can do at home
- Spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to/watching favourite radio or TV programmes
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
- Drink enough water
- Try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
- Keep your windows open to let in fresh air
- Get some natural sunlight if you can or go outside into the garden
- Walk outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres away from others
What steps can I take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?
Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online.
Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing. You may find it helpful to talk to them about how you’re feeling.
Remember, it’s okay to share your concerns with others you trust. You may end up providing support to them too.
What’s the advice for informal carers?
If you’re caring for someone who’s vulnerable, there are some simple steps that you can take to protect them. You should follow advice on good hygiene, such as:
- Wash your hands on arrival and often - use soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands
- Don’t visit if you’re unwell and make alternative arrangements for their care
- Provide them information on who they should call if they feel unwell (their GP phone number and 111) and how to use NHS inform
- Access advice on creating a contingency plan from Carers UK
- Find out about different sources of support that could be used
- Look after your own well-being and physical health