Protecting yourself and others

Updated 24 March 2020 at 11.50am

The NHS is giving clear advice on how you can protect yourself and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus (covid-19).


  • follow the government rules on social distancing
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you return after leaving your home
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards

Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Read the NHS advice on coronavirus and access the NHS 111 online service