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Coronavirus (COVID 19) : Advice in general public

1. Preventing spread of Coronavirus infection


• avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• avoid close contact with people who are sick
• if you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school
• cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
• clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment
• if you are worried about your symptoms, please call Hospital Clinicians. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment

• see further information
There is currently no vaccine to prevent Coronavirus (COVID 19) acute respiratory disease. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
2. Actions on return from China and specified countries
In addition to China, specified countries are Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
If you have lived with or had close contact (within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more) with a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID 19), you should contact Hospital Clinicians for further advice.
For healthcare professionals who have travelled to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand, please follow the specific guidance for health care workers.
2.1 If you have returned from anywhere in Hubei province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days
If you are currently well:
• stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with flu viruses. You can find more information about how to do this
• call Hospital Clinicians to inform them of your recent travel to the area
• your family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
If you become unwell:
• please call Hospital Clinicians immediately in order for you to be assessed by an appropriate specialist in hospital, as quickly as possible
• follow the home isolation advice
2.2 If you have returned from, or transited through, China (other than Hubei) or a specified country in the last 14 days
If you are well:
• you do not need to avoid contact with other people
• your family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
If you become unwell:
• stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses.
• follow this home isolation advice sheet
• call Hospital Clinicians immediately in order for you to be assessed by an appropriate specialist in hospital, as quickly as possible
3. Symptoms and what to do
You should look for any of the following symptoms in the 14 days after the day you return from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand:
• cough
• difficulty in breathing
• fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)
If you have any of these symptoms, you should:
• if it is an emergency, call Emergency Departments and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days
• if you are unwell, but it is not an emergency, call Hospital Clinicians and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days
Whilst you await further advice from Hospital Clinicians:
• avoid contact with others
• stay at home, do not attend work or school
• do not travel while sick
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Throw tissues in the bin.
• wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available
4. Feeling unwell while away from home
Do not go to your GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital if you become unwell. Instead call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
Whilst you wait for advice from Hospital Clinicians or an ambulance to arrive, try to find somewhere safe to sit where you are away from other people, and avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze and put the tissue in your bag or pocket. then throw the tissue in the bin. If you don’t have any tissues available, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
4.1 On public transport
If you become ill whilst on public transport, stop your journey when you are able to do so and stay where you are and call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
If you become unwell whilst at an airport, bus station or train station before a long journey, seek medical help as above and do not start or continue your journey.
4.2 In outdoor public spaces
If you are outside in an open space when you become unwell, stay where you are and call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk). Tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
4.3 Leisure activities
For example at shops, restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theatres, and sporting events.
Speak to a member of staff, keeping at least 2 metres distance from them to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Ask them to find a room or area where you can isolate yourself behind a shut door, such as a changing room or staff office. If it’s possible to open a window, do so for ventilation.
Call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
4.4 Places of worship
Isolate yourself behind a shut door if there is a room or area available. If it’s possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. If there is nowhere you can isolate yourself, return to your place of residence by the most direct route. Call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
4.5 Educational settings
Keep 2 metres away from others and if possible find a room or area where you can isolate yourself behind a shut door, such as a staff office or unused classroom. Make sure that children know to tell a teacher if they feel unwell. If it’s possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. If you need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, use a separate bathroom if available.
Call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
People who have returned from Hubei Province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days should avoid attending school, work or university. People who have returned from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 14 days, are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms. All other students should continue to attend school or university.
4.6 At work (non-clinical settings)
People who have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan, should not attend work for 14 days after their arrival.
Find a room where you can isolate yourself away from others and shut the door. If it’s possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. If you need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, use a separate bathroom if available. See below for advice on cleaning workspaces.
Call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
4.7 With friends and family
Find a room where you can isolate yourself away from others and shut the door. If it’s possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. If you need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, use a separate bathroom if available.
Call Hospital Clinicians, or Emergency Departments if an emergency (if you are seriously ill or injured or your life is at risk), and tell them which country you have returned from in the last 14 days.
It is important not to get too close to other people if you become ill - try to maintain 2 metres distance between yourself and others in order to reduce the risk of transmitting infection.
There are no restrictions for contacts of people who have recently been to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand and are well.
If someone is unwell in the household and has recently returned from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand, please phone Hospital Clinicians for further advice.
4.8 Mass gatherings
If you have returned from Hubei Province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days you should avoid mass gatherings. The risk to the general public attending mass gatherings is very low.
4.9 Post, packages, take-away food
The virus does not survive well for long periods outside the body and so it is highly unlikely that Coronavirus (COVID 19) can be spread through post or packages.
It is highly unlikely that Coronavirus (COVID 19) can be spread through food.
5. Cleaning shared spaces
If a person becomes ill in a shared space, these should be cleaned using disposable cloths and household detergents. Wash your hands after cleaning.

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