What should I do if I have symptoms of coronavirus?

Dr. Babak Ashrafi

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you should self-isolate for 10 days from when they started. Everyone else in your household must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person showed symptoms. You must also immediately request a coronavirus test by contacting 119 or applying online.


If you think you have coronavirus, the advice is to contact 119 or use the NHS 111 online assessment, rather than go to your local GP or A&E department.

You can also help the NHS respond to the coronavirus by using the NHS coronavirus status checker, to update them with your symptoms. This will help to guide the NHS by showing them how the virus is spreading, and the different symptoms peoples are experiencing.

You can also message ZAVA to speak to a doctor for free.

Learn about coronavirus testing and how to get tested

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How can I treat my symptoms at home?

If you’re self-isolating and experiencing symptoms of coronavirus we recommend that you:

  • take regular paracetamol to manage a fever or pain
  • use natural remedies for coughs such as honey and lemon
  • drink plenty of water
  • get lots of rest

Currently, there is no treatment or cure for coronavirus, so managing your symptoms well at home is the best thing you can do.

What should I do if my symptoms get worse?

You should seek medical help if:

  • your condition gets worse
  • you can no longer cope with your symptoms

If you are struggling and need further support, do not hesitate to call 111 or 999. You must avoid travelling at all costs and contact them directly. Do not attempt to go to the hospital or to your GP.

Learn more about coronavirus testing and how to get tested

I live with someone in a risk-group and I have symptoms

If you live with someone who is in a ‘risk-group’, you should try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days. This is to shield them as much as possible from coming into contact with the virus. During this period, you should self-isolate and seek further help if necessary.

If there’s no way for the vulnerable person to stay elsewhere, you should keep 2m (3 steps) away from each other at all times. If possible, you should avoid sharing a bed.

Risk group

My child is showing symptoms of coronavirus

If your child is not showing severe symptoms, you should follow the same advice as anyone else with coronavirus. If you are still concerned for their wellbeing, but their symptoms are mild, you can contact NHS 111. This means taking the same precautions and self-isolating as you continue to monitor their health.

If their symptoms seem to be getting worse or they appear extremely unwell, you should call 999.

COVID-19, flu, or a cold?

COVID-19 shares some symptoms with very common illnesses like flu or a cold. You can learn more about the different symptoms and how to identify these illnesses here.

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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