Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

Information and resources to learn more about coronavirus.
If you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or have noticed a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, it could be coronavirus. You should get a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to check as soon as possible. You and anyone else living with you shouldn’t leave the house other than to get a test until you have your result. If you're worried about your symptoms or need help, contact NHS 111 online or call 111.
Woman having temperature checked
Follow local government guidance

Coronavirus guidance is changing regularly as knowledge of the virus develops. It’s important to keep up to date with any restrictions in place or guidelines to follow in your area to minimise transmission and protect yourself and others.

The following links are to UK government websites where the latest coronavirus guidance will be published.

Guidance in England

Guidance in Northern Ireland

Guidance in Scotland

Guidance in Wales

COVID-19 vaccination

There are several COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK, which are shown to reduce the risk of getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus[1].

Learn more about the different vaccines available, including effectiveness, benefits and side effects.

COVID test kit and mask
Test regularly

Free twice weekly rapid lateral flow tests are available to everyone in England, Scotland and Wales. There are lots of places you can get test kits, including:

  • most pharmacies

  • online, with home delivery

  • community test centres

  • participating workplaces

  • schools and colleges for students and staff

  • PCR test centres, usually at a specific collection time.

If you’re testing at home, you need to report your result online or by calling 119.

Are lateral flow tests accurate?

A 2020 analysis by Public Health England and the University of Oxford, estimated lateral flow tests to be 99.68% accurate[2].

An analysis published in March 2021 using NHS Test and Trace data estimated that lateral flow tests were 99.97% accurate. This means for every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out, there will be less than one false positive result[3].

Woman lying on couch
Long COVID

While a lot of people who have had coronavirus can feel better after a few days or weeks, many people report ongoing symptoms.

These symptoms can continue for weeks or months after recovering from the infection. The long-term effects of coronavirus are often called long COVID or post-COVID-19 syndrome[4].

Speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing ongoing symptoms after recovering from coronavirus.

Woman and child exercising
Looking after your health

It’s never been more important to make your health a priority.

Taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle and managing your own wellbeing can lead to long term benefits, beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more about some of the ways you can improve your general health:

Face covering
Existing health conditions and COVID-19

There are some health conditions that have been linked to people being at an increased risk of becoming seriously ill or having to go into hospital with coronavirus.

Find out more about some of these health conditions and how they relate to coronavirus risk:

Where can I get further support and information?
As well as talking to your pharmacist or GP, there are a number of organisations and groups offering support and information.
More topics

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Information and resources to help you get to and stick to a healthy weight.

Anxiety and depression

Resources and information to help people with anxiety and/or depression, as well as general support with mental wellbeing.

Managing asthma

Resources to help people living with asthma.

Published

October 2021

Next review

January 2022

Reviewed by

Gill Stone MRPharmS

References

  1. 1.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. nhs.uk. Published November 26, 2020. Accessed May 27, 2021.

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
  2. 2.

    UK evaluation_PHE Porton Down  University of Oxford_final.pdf. Accessed May 12, 2021.

    https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/media_wysiwyg/UK%20evaluation_PHE%20Porton%20Down%20%20University%20of%20Oxford_final.pdf
  3. 3.

    Lateral flow device specificity in phase 4 (post-marketing) surveillance. GOV.UK. Accessed May 12, 2021.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lateral-flow-device-specificity-in-phase-4-post-marketing-surveillance
  4. 4.

    Long-term effects of coronavirus (long COVID). nhs.uk. Published January 7, 2021. Accessed May 10, 2021.

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/long-term-effects-of-coronavirus-long-covid/