Information and updates
Links to important and up-to-date information
This initiative would not exist without the generous support of our sponsors
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. This page aims to provide basic but important information on the pandemic and links to where you can get updated information.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease arising from the coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are not a new group of viruses but the strain causing COVID-19, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2, is not one we have observed in humans before. It is spread by large respiratory droplets, meaning you can be infected with it if a carrier coughs or sneezes within 1m of you and this enters your mucosa (mouth, nose or eyes). Current WHO research says it is not airborne, meaning it does not remain suspended in the air.
WHY IS IT SUCH A CONCERN?
As mentioned before, this is a virus we haven't observed in humans prior to this. Therefore, it is not easy to predict how it will behave. From what we have seen, it has a high infectious rate and mortality rate compared to other coronaviruses.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
As it is spread by respiratory droplets, it is advised to wash your hands with warm to hot water for at least 20 seconds using a good handwashing technique. If this is not possible, use alcohol based hand sanitisers and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth before washing your hands. For guidance on the use of face coverings, please click here.
WHAT DO THE UK GOVERNMENT SAY?
Lockdown in the U.K. has eased for the most part as we return to a new normal. Some areas may impose a local lockdown, you will be notified of this if it affects you.
Key notices include:
- Maintaining social distancing 2m, this can be reduced to 1m if 2m is not possible
- You must wear a face covering (anything that will cover the mouth and nose) when travelling on public transport - buses, trains, cabs (including those such as Uber), trams, ferries, aircrafts. Not doing so may result in a fine
For more up to date details on life in Britain, please click here.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS?
If you are experiencing either a new continuous cough or a fever, you must stay at home for at least 7 days from the onset of your symptoms. If you are still experiencing a fever beyond these 7 days, please stay at home until the fever stops.
Your household must also self-isolate for at least 14 days if asymptomatic.
If you are struggling to cope with your symptoms at home, do not hesitate to call 111 for assistance and advice. For more information, please see the NHS coronavirus page.