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National Information and Guidance

What is Covid-19 Coronavirus? - Symptoms, high risk groups, self-isolation and seeking medical help

Page last updated 19/07/2021

Please note this page contains the current information and guidance from the National Health Service and and the SEND Local Offer will be updated as required. You can also find the latest information on the NHS website.

What is Covid 19?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a type of virus called coronavirus.


The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) 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


Who's at high risk from coronavirus?

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, but there are some people who are at a higher risk.

For example, you may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

Important Note:

If you're at high risk, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, even if they're mild:

  1. Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.
  2. You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Get a PCR test to check if you have COVID-19 on GOV.UK


Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

This is called self-isolation.

If you are self-isolating, you must:

  • do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can

  • do not go on public transport or use taxis

  • do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home

  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care

  • do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

You can use your garden, if you have one.

How long to self-isolate

You usually have to self-isolate for 10 full days if you've tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have been in close contact with someone who has it.

You might need to self-isolate for longer if you get symptoms or your symptoms do not go away.

Local Support

If you need support e.g getting help with food or medicines you can request support through the Nottinghamshire County Council Coronavirus Community Support Hub. To find out more go to the Nottinghamshire County Council website. Alternatively, you can call our Customer Service Centre on 0300 500 8080 between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

What to do if you need medical help

If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have provided a 'traffic light' system for parents and carers on symptoms and what you need to do. Just click on the icon below to open up the document:

Advice for parentscarers if your child is unwell








Protecting yourself from Coronavirus - Do's and Don'ts


Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • wash your hands as soon as you get back home

  • 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Watch the Government and NHS video on how you should wash your hands to protect yourself from Coronavirus:


Government Measures and Guidance

Page last updated 19/07/2021

This page contains the latest guidance from the Cabinet Office. To find the latest information go to the Government website

England has moved to Step 4

Most legal restrictions to control Covid-19 have been lifted but everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. For further guidance on what you can and cannot do please go to the Government website

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable

Clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to follow the same guidance as everyone else. However, as someone who is at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if you were to catch COVID-19, you should think particularly carefully about precautions you can continue to take. These precautions are included in the guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.

British Sign Language Videos

You can access translated updates on coronavirus, from Government briefings, in British Sign Language, from the deaf health charity Sign Health.

Face Coverings

Updated Information 19th July 2021:

In England the legal requirement to wear a face covering has ended but Goverment guidance does still state "it expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport".

To find the latest information go to the Government website

Education Guidance

Page last updated 19/07/2021

Coronavirus Restrictions in Education Settings - Education Secretary announcement July6th 2021

The lifting of Covid restrictions in education settings will take place in line with the general removal of restrictions for England at Step 4. These legal restrictions will end on Monday 19 July. Further Covid restrictions in schools, such as class and year group bubbles, will be lifted but protective measures will remain in place next term.

As part of Step 4, ‘bubbles’ will end for all children under 18, social distancing will no longer be necessary, and schools will not need to stagger start and finish times.

To support this step the Government have published new guidance for arrangements in education settings from Step 4, covering both the summer period and the following term, when children will return to school:

From 16 August, the legal requirement to self-isolate for contacts of a positive case will end for everyone aged under 18, and for adults who have been fully vaccinated.  This means that from the autumn term, only those who test positive will need to self-isolate.  

From Step 4, NHS test and trace will carry out contact tracing in all education settings rather than it being run by the school or college. Those identified as close contacts will be advised to take a PCR test, and only need to isolate if they test positive. Everyone must self-isolate if they have symptoms of Covid or a positive test result. 

More details on the announcement can be found here Covid restrictions in education settings to end at Step 4 - GOV.UK (

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