Questions and answers regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Short answers to questions you might have about the virus.
What can you do to help?
The single most important thing you can do is follow NHS advice. Wash hands, and self-isolate when you get symptoms and social-distance now - this is vital and will save lives.
Good hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation are critical in the fight to slow the risk of infections - both for yourself and importantly for others - particularly those over 70, those with underlying health conditions and those who are pregnant.
Where can I get the latest government information?
If you want access to all Government advice on coronavirus you'll find it here.
When should you self-isolate?
- If you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough
- You must self-isolate for 10 days if you live alone
- You must all self-isolate for 14 days if you live with others (if someone gets symptoms during isolation all householders must remain symptom free for 7 days even if that means isolating for more than 14 days)
Self-isolation will save lives - it's important you follow the guidance if you're affected.
You do not need to call NHS 111 to self-isolate.
If your symptoms worsen during isolation or are no better after 7 days contact the NHS online coronavirus service . If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Why should you self-isolate?
- Self-isolation is the safest way to stop spread of the infection.
- People in the most vulnerable groups should consider self-isolating even if they don't have symptoms.
- Self-isolation saves lives - and while 90% of people will recover from this virus - some will get seriously ill and some will die - it is these people we need to protect.
How should I look after myself when I self-isolate?
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink plenty of water (fluids)
- Eat as health food
- To reduce pain and fever take paracetamol (if you use other mediation get in touch with your care provider)
- Keep in contact with friends and family by phone, video and online
Should I use hand sanitiser gel or soap and water?
You should wash your hands with soap and water for at last 20 seconds regularly but particularly when you return home. If you're out and about and cannot get access to soap and water cleaning your hands thoroughly with hand sanitiser gel can be effective against the virus.
How can I get tested?
The Welsh Government states that before requesting a test you must have at least one of the following symptoms:
- A new continuous cough
- A high temperature
- A loss or change to sense of smell of taste
You can apply to a test for yourself or anyone in your household with symptoms online here. If no tests are available please try again later, as tests become available throughout the day.
Alternatively, you can call 119 (between 7am and 11pm). People with hearing and speech difficulties can call 18001119.
Do I need to wear a face mask?
The Welsh Government has stated that wearing face masks in shops and other indoor public places is a legal requirement from the 14th September. 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.
From the 23 November, staff and students are now required to wear a face-covering when outside the classroom in all communal spaces. This also applies to visitors and parents picking up or dropping off their children on school premises.
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.
What financial support can I get?
The Government have introduced significant measures to protect the financial resilience of individual and businesses and in light of the new fire-break restrictions, have announced new financial support measures which will open in the next week. The following two organisations provide updated and detailed support and advice about your money in light of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- This up-to-date guide from the Money Advice Service is easy to follow and filled with good advice about Government initiatives, sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits during this challenging time.
- The advice and benefits and grants calculators at Turn2Us are useful to get support if the coronavirus has had a negative impact on your finances.
Can I get up-to-date news about coronavirus (COVID-19)?
You can also register to the Government free to use WhatsApp information service. To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
Can I claim sick pay?
You could get SSP if you’re self-isolating because:
- you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
- you’ve been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus
- someone in your ‘support bubble’ (or your ‘extended household’ if you live in Scotland or Wales) has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus
- you’ve been advised by a doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
You can also get SSP if both of the following apply:
- you live or work in an area with local restrictions in place, including advice to ‘shield’ (take extra precautions to reduce contact with others)
- you’ve been advised to shield because you’re at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus
You cannot get SSP if you’re self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK and do not need to self-isolate for any other reason.
You could get SSP for every day you’re off work.
Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home?
Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by the virus.
What if I have a 'zero hours' contract?
You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer in the first instance and if you're not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) .
What if I’m self-employed?
You can apply for Universal Credit - where self-employed people can access full statutory sick pay equivalent.
What if the whole family has to stay at home so we have no income?
If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit - the Government have changed certain rules governing this benefit during the coronavirus period.
I'm worried about paying my tax - is there any help?
Yes - there are 2000 staff supporting a COVID-19 dedicated helpline for businesses and self-employed being run by HMRC Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm - 0800 0159 559 who will discuss possible remedies such as:
- agreeing an instalment arrangement
- suspending debt collection proceedings
- cancelling penalties and interest
Self-assessment tax payments are deferred until January 2021.
LAST UPDATED 30/11/20