Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information

Protect yourself and others

You should stay at home as much as possible. The reasons you may leave home include:

  • for work, where you cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open - to get things like food and medicine
  • to exercise or spend time outdoors
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

These reasons are exceptions and a fuller list is set out in the regulations. Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent away from the home and ensuring that you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Latest Government guidance.

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

  • a new continuous cough
  • a fever
  • loss/change to your normal sense of smell or taste

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( (PDF 1.60MB)

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
  • The telephone 'call' centre operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and 10am to 2pm at weekends and Bank Holidays. The service 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.

Find out more about the emergency support helpline

Easy Read

Further information and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - Find information on coronavirus, including guidance, support, announcements and statistics.


Staying alert and safe (social distancing) - The most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives.


Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do - Frequently asked questions on what you can and can't do during the coronavirus outbreak.


Staying safe outside your home - The principles you should follow to ensure that time spent outside your home is as safe as possible.


New guidance on spending time outdoors - Details on a range of outdoor activities which will be allowed in England from 13 May 2020 subject to social distancing rules.


Public advised to cover faces in enclosed spaces - The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): new transport guidance for passengers and operators - Announcing new safer travel guidance for members of the public and safer transport guidance for operators.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable - Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP, including those 70 and over, should continue to do this until at least the end of June. The Government are advising individuals with very specific medical conditions to do everything they can to stay at home.

    Download, print and share up to date campaign resources and help us to share vital messages in communities - access campaign materials.

    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