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COVID-19 – Government advice update

March 13th 2020
Vicky Sartain

The government announced yesterday that we are moving from the ‘contain’ phase into the ‘delay’ stage in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This means that the UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the risk to the UK from moderate to high.

In the battle against COVID-19 the Department of Health and Social Care, said:

As per the current advice, the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue, put it in a bin and wash your hands.

We are asking anyone who shows certain symptoms to self-isolate for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means we want people to stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

The symptoms are:

  • a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • a new, continuous cough

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

In the coming weeks, we will be introducing further social distancing measures for older and vulnerable people, asking them to self-isolate regardless of symptoms.

If we introduce this next stage too early, the measures will not protect us at the time of greatest risk but could have a huge social impact. We need to time this properly, continue to do the right thing at the right time, so we get the maximum effect for delaying the virus. We will clearly announce when we ask the public to move to this next stage.

Our decisions are based on careful modelling. We will only introduce measures that are supported by clinical and scientific evidence.


– In line with the UK Government’s latest recommendations, Sport Industry Group has today taken the difficult decision to postpone the Sport Industry Awards 2020 from Thursday 30 April to Thursday 3 September.


For more information, news and advice go to:

World Health Organisation YouTube video:

Department of Health (UK Government) will be updated at 2pm daily via

World Health Organisation situation report ( updates )

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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