06 March 2020
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well
prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put
in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS
staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as
Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a
cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most
cases appear to be mild.
Our advice to anyone who has travelled to the UK from Italy
lockdown areas) mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of
Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last
14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath,
is to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
Additionally, passengers returning from Iran, specific lockdown
areas in Northern Italy, special care zones in South Korea or the
Hubei Province in the last 14 days should call NHS 111 and
stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not
We have updated our travel advice to recommend that anyone
returning from the whole of Italy (outside of the lockdown areas)
should self isolate if they develop symptoms and call NHS 111 - in
line with previous advice to the North of Italy.
Information for the public is available at gov.uk/coronavirus
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs
through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via
cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by
touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with
coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current
time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei
province, China are currently in isolation.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line
with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept
in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned
home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with
suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific
guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them
and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a
top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health
England advice to:
Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough
or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after
using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
You can find the latest information and advice from Public
Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.