Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information

Protect yourself and others

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures.

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. 

The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them - including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.

Those with symptoms and living alone should remain at home for 7 days after the onset of their symptoms (information on ending self-isolation). This will reduce the risk of you infecting others.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, then household members must stay at home and not leave your house for 14 days. If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. 

Ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online, but make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect.

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

If you have a serious underlying health condition, you are at very high risk of severe illness as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) requiring admission to hospital.

Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus.

You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter. Please note that this period of time could change.

Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. 

People who will be notified that they are to shield have been given advice to give to people who may visit the house and will be encouraged to draw on support they might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time to keep in touch with people over the phone, by post, or online.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Easy Read - Guidance on protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus (shielding)

Emergency Support Helpline for vulnerable people needing urgent help with food, medicines and essential supplies

Cumbria County Council and partners have launched an emergency support service and 6 welfare coordination Hubs for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours. If they have no alternative support, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.

Ways to get in touch:

  • Phone - The emergency telephone support helpline is 0800 783 1966.
  • Online - COVID-19 online support form.
  • Email your request for help to COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk.
  • The telephone 'call' centre will operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends. The service will also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

The helpline is there to support those at 'high risk' and includes people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who should be protecting themselves by staying at home. The majority of these people will already be receiving support from family, friends or local voluntary groups with tasks like shopping or collection of medicines if they require it. But we know that a small number of people will not have this support. The helpline will also accept referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

Find out more about the emergency helpline.


Further information and guidance

Public and communities

Employers and businesses

First responders

  • COVID-19: guidance for first responders - Advice for first responders (as defined by the Civil Contingencies Act) and others who may have close contact with symptomatic people with potential COVID-19.

Health professionals

Non-clinical settings

Professionals advising the general public

DfE Coronavirus helpline - If you have a query about Coronavirus (COVID-19), relating to schools and other educational establishments in England - Telephone 0800 046 8687 - Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm for early years up to universities, and parents.

You can help prevent the spread of flu germs and viruses and it's really easy - remember to catch it, bin it, kill it.

  • 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
  • Wash your hands  more often for 20 seconds with soap and water. Or use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Find out more about symptoms and if you're worried.

catch it bin it kill it