FAQs about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Short answers to questions you might have about the virus. This page was last updated on the 15th of March.
What can you do to help?
The single most important thing you can do is follow NHS advice. As at the 15th of March - wash hands, and self-isolate when you get symptoms. By doing this you will help reduce the risk of infections - both for yourself and for others.
More advice will be issued and you need to follow that as it is released.
When should you self-isolate?
Everyone with a high temperature or new, continuous cough must stay at home for 7 days. No need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If symptoms worsen during isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Why should you self-isolate?
People are being asked to self-isolate for 7 days if they get symptoms because over 90% of people will recover from this virus and won’t get seriously ill. and by self-isolating they reduce the chances of infecting others. After seven days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine.
How should I look after myself when I self-isolate?
• Get plenty of rest
• Drink plenty of water (fluids)
• Eat as healthily as you can
• To reduce pain and fever take paracetamol as advised
• Keep in contact with friends and family by phone, video and online
Why aren’t more people being tested?
The Government is trying to delay the spread of infection so has prioritised testing for the most at risk of severe illness from the virus rather than divert resources to widespread testing. Testing will, for example, include people in hospital who have pneumonia or acute respiratory illness. The reason this is being done is to make sure we are using our valuable NHS resources as well as we can. By focusing our testing on the most vulnerable we help relieve pressure on the NHS.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
When you're doing normal day-to-day activities face masks do little to protect people from viruses. The best way to reduce any risk of infections is with good hygiene, like washing your hands, and avoiding direct or close contact (within 2 metres) with any potentially infected person.
Healthcare professionals may wear special masks if they're spending hours each day looking after people who have tested positive for coronavirus, or may have been infected. If someone has been told they have coronavirus, they may be advised to wear a mask to protect others.
How do I manage on a reduced income?
The Government have made a number of changes to benefits and sick pay and will likely take more steps over the coming days and weeks. The following two organisations provide detailed support and advice about coronavirus and your money.
- This up-to-date guide from the Money Advice Service is easy to follow and filled with good advice about sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits during this challenging time.
- The advice and benefits and grants calculators at Turn2Us are useful to get support if the coronavirus has had a negative impact on your finances.
Sick pay FAQ
Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home?
Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by the virus.
What if I have a 'zero hours' contract?
You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer in the first instance and if you're not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) .
What if I’m self-employed?
You can apply for Universal Credit .
What if the whole family has to stay at home so we have no income?
If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit .
Last Updated: 18 March 2020