This page has been designed to provide up-to-date information, guidance and advice with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
If you need medical help, please use the 111 online coronavirus service.
Information about COVID-19 - 30 November
Coronaviruses are a ‘type’ of virus. The coronavirus we are all hearing about is called COVID-19, but you may also hear it called - coronavirus.
How serious is COVID-19?
The evidence shows us that the vast majority of people who get this virus have relatively mild symptoms and make a full recovery. But in a small percentage of cases, the virus can cause more severe symptoms. This is particularly true for people with a weakened immune system, for older people and for those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
"A lot of false information about this virus is being shared - it’s very important that you make sure that the information you use comes from a trusted source - all of the information on this page has been sourced from the NHS, gov.uk and gov.wales websites.
What are the symptoms?
If you are infected you may have very minor symptoms, minor symptoms or more severe symptoms, but the NHS cites three symptoms to look out for as:
- A new continuous cough
- A fever or high temperature
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
What should I do if I have either of the above symptoms?
- Protect others - use the NHS 111 Wales online Coronavirus service, only call NHS 111 if you can't get help online
- Protect others - don't go to your GP surgery or pharmacy
- Protect others - don't go to your local hospital
- Isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started
- Apply to have a Covid-19 test
If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for Covid-19, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken.
If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart your 10-day isolation from the day you developed symptoms.
After 10 days, if you still have a temperature, you must continue to self isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to continue self-isolating after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of smell/taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of Covid-19, then you must stay at home for at least 10 days. All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days - this 14-day period starts from the day the first person in the home became ill.
If you have symptoms of Covid-19, avoid contact with other members of your household as much as possible. You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window outside, keep the door closed and stay separate where possible.
If available, use a separate bathroom to other members of the household, however if this is not feasible, then use separate towels, and thoroughly clean the shared facilities after use. You should avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens whilst others are present.
The evidence suggests - your staying at home for 14 days will significantly reduce the number of people in the community that will become infected with the virus.
For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 10 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
If at-risk people share your home - such as those who are older and those with underlying health conditions - it is advisable for them to move out, perhaps to stay with friends or family for the whole isolation period. They need to minimise contact with others during this period whether or not they are able to move out.
For further information read this government advice on staying at home and isolating.
What should I do if self-isolation is challenging?
- You can't manage with your symptoms at home
- Your conditions get worse
- Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
You should use the online 111 service or if you can't use the online service call 111
How can you avoid getting and spreading the virus?
The current scientific advice is that transmission of the virus happens largely through the sharing of respiratory droplets from person to person. This could be through sneezing, coughing or talking.
Catching the virus from others is significantly more likely when in close proximity to one another (under 2m). This is why you should always observe social distancing - maintaining a 2m distance away from other people both indoors and outdoors.
Surfaces and belongings can be contaminated with Covid-19 when people who are infectious touch, cough or sneeze and droplets land on them. The infection risk from a COVID-19 contaminated surface decreases over time, however studies suggest that the risk of residual infectious virus is likely to be significantly reduced after 48 hours.
Follow the below advice in order to minimise the risk to yourself and others.
- Stay at home - except for very limited purposes
- Avoid non-essential contact with others - work from home if you can, avoid mass gatherings
- Wash your hands - with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds. Do this before leaving home and after returning home, before eating and drinking, and after coughing or sneezing
- Wear a face mask - over your mouth and nose, when in shops and other indoor public places such as public transport
- Don't touch your face - especially your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean surfaces - disinfect surfaces around you - especially mobiles, computers, keyboards, worktops, desks, handles...
Advice on face coverings
The Welsh Government has stated that wearing face masks in shops and other indoor public places is a legal requirement from 14th September.
In addition to this, the Welsh Government announced on 23 November that face coverings should now be worn in schools and colleges in all areas outside the classroom by staff and learners. This also applies to visitors to schools including parents and carers dropping off and picking up children.
Both customers and staff in all indoor public places are required to wear a mask. This includes: shops, public transport, places of worship, hairdressers and salons, cinemas and museums, gyms and leisure centres and anywhere that is open to the public.
Face coverings are not required when consuming food and drink inside a café, restaurant or pub. However, in places where food and drink are offered as takeaway, you will need to wear a mask in the parts of the premises where people are not eating or drinking.
Face coverings must cover the mouth and nose, and when putting the covering on, you should only touch the straps or ties.
You are exempt from wearing a face covering if (for example):
- You are not able to put on or to wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability or impairment;
- You are accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate; or
- You are escaping from a threat or danger and don’t have a face covering
Appropriate temporary removal of face coverings includes:
- You need to take medicine;
- You need to eat or drink; or
- You need to remove face covering to avoid harm or injury, either to yourself or others – for example to get someone’s attention about a danger.
Individual excuses not to wear a face covering depends on the specific situation and circumstances.
Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked for written evidence of this, including exemption cards. No person needs to provide written evidence, however if you feel more comfortable doing so you are able to show an exemption card, badge or even a homemade sign.
- Stay at home and isolate for 10 days - if you live with others, all other members of the household must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days, even if you think your symptoms are mild. If anyone else in the house starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear.
- Ask for help - if you find it hard to stay at home - text, email, phone, friends, family, employers or your community to get help - but they mustn't come into your home
- Keep your distance - keep 2 metres (around 3 steps) away from others - including family - for the full period - do not go to your GP surgery or hospital
- Sleep alone - if you can sleep alone you must - it will help ensure people you live with aren't infected
- Keep washing your hands - often and for 20 seconds with soap and water helps
- Drink plenty of fluids - and take everyday pain killers like paracetamol if you need to
- Keep cleaning - so you keep surfaces clean
- Reduce contact with at risk people - people over 70, women who are pregnant and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk - help keep them safe.
What about travel advice?
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advises against all but essential international travel, however travel to some countries and territories is currently exempt from this.
- If you are travelling back to the UK, please check the FCO advice on whether you will need to self-isolate when returning home.
- If you have travelled to a country or territory that is not on the exempted list of countries, you will need to isolate for 14 days upon your return.
- If you are arriving in Wales from within the UK and have not been outside the Common Travel Area in the 14 days before entering Wales, you will not need to provide your journey or contact details or isolate.
- The full list of countries exempt from having to isolate upon return is listed here.
If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:
- contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
- get in touch with your insurance provider
- continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance
Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.
What if you're abroad?
We will continue to update our Travel Advice pages with relevant information if you are currently abroad. Check our travel advice for your location regularly and sign-up to email alerts.
You must follow the advice of local authorities. Your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are.