Symptoms and self-isolation

Coronavirus symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. With children back at school and mixing more with others, it’s likely they’ll start to pick up coughs and colds. You may wonder whether they have coronavirus symptoms, or just a common cold – have a look at our back to school page for more help and advice.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

Call 111 if you’re worried about a baby or child under 5. If your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, call 999. Do not delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts. Get more advice about coronavirus in children
Find out more about the symptoms on the NHS website.

Self-isolation

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you stay at home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19).

This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

Self-isolation is different to:

  • social distancing – general advice for everyone to avoid close contact with other people
  • shielding – advice for people at high risk from coronavirus
When to self-isolate

Self-isolate if:

Get a test if you have symptoms
If you have symptoms, get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.The test needs to be done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.

How long to self-isolate
If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.You’ll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • you’ve been told by NHS Test and Trace that you’ve been in contact with someone who has coronavirus

Read more about how long to self-isolate.

Find out more on the NHS website, including how to get an isolation note.

 

Find out how you can get tested the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Last updated on 24 September 2020 at 16:02 by communications and engagement manager