Guidance on COVID-19, including general precautions for staff and guidance on the assessment and management of arrivals into the UK.
Change to information, contains clarification of survival time of virus on surfaces.
Advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers is that the risk to the public remains MODERATE.
The risk to individuals in the UK has not changed at this stage and remains LOW.
As of 01 March at 9am, a total of 11,750 people have been tested in the UK, of which 11,715 were confirmed negative and 35 positive.
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
With the first reported publication of the genome sequence of a 2019 novel coronavirus, PHE was able to rapidly develop further specific tests for this virus, working with WHO and global network of laboratories.
The UK is now one of the first countries outside China to have a prototype specific laboratory test for this new disease.
The current advice is for anyone who has returned from:
• Hubei province in China
• The areas in northern Italy that are in “lockdown” (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano in Lombardy and Vo’ Euganeo in Veneto)
• South Korea (Daegu & Cheongdo)
in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms) is to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately even if you do not have any symptoms
If you have returned from:
• other parts of mainland China or South Korea
• Hong Kong
in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild) or if you have returned from:
• other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild)
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. In Northern Ireland call 0300 200 7885
This guidance is based on the recommendations of the UK Chief Medical officers. These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review.
There is evidence that human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 is occurring and is spread from person to person by close contact.
Some examples of how it can be spread include:
• large droplets from coughing and or sneezing by an infected person within a short distance (usually one metre or less) of someone
• touching or shaking the hand of an infected person and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose without first washing your hands
• touching surfaces or objects (such as door handles) that have become contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose without first washing your hands
Staff and crew in contact with passengers or the general public are not considered to have a higher risk of contracting coronavirus as a result of their work.
This means that they are at no greater risk of contracting coronavirus than any other member of the public.
Staff are not recommended to wear respiratory masks. They do not provide protection from respiratory viruses.
PHE recommends that the best way to reduce any risk of infection is good hygiene and avoiding direct or close contact (closer than 2 metres) with any potentially infected person. Any member of staff who deals with members of the public from behind a screen will be protected from airborne particles.
There is no perceived increase in risk for handling baggage, post or freight from specified countries
Coronavirus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Once symptomatic, all surfaces that the passenger has come into contact with must be cleaned including:
• all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
• all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones
• clothing and linen used by the passenger should be set aside pending assessment of the passenger by a healthcare professional
Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours
If you think you have been exposed or if you develop symptoms consistent with coronavirus, in England call the NHS 111 helpline or the equivalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The full guidance can be found from the link below