About coronavirus (Covid-19)


COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. 

Most people infected with coronavirus will experience a mild to moderate illness and will recover without needing any specialist treatment.  Older people and those with underlying health conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses.

Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) in adults can include:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature 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
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.

Legal restrictions

Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted. Keep up-to-date with any changes by visiting

What you should do

COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember to take action to keep yourself and others safe. There are still cases of COVID-19 in England and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated. This means it is important that you understand and consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19 in all situations.

View the latest Government guidelines on staying safe and reducing the spread of COVID-19.


Keeping yourself and others safe

Although many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.

It’s recommended that you:

  • Isolate if you test positive/think you may have covid
  • Wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport
  • Meet outside where possible

Guidelines around testing has changed, with free testing ending for many, visit the NHS website for up-to-date information on testing for covid-19.

Find more information about the changes here.

You can call the NHS 111 service if you need advice.

Please note, these rules apply to England, and there are different restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The NHS Covid-19 App

The NHS COVID-19 app is available to download in England and Wales, and is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from coronavirus.

You can use the StopCOVID NI app if you live in Northern Ireland, and the Protect Scotland app if you are in Scotland.

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