COVID-19 FAQ’s

This document contains a number of FAQ’s that we have found ourselves answering recently, all the information contain in this document is the most up to date information that has ben provided and all references are included at the end of the document.

As new information is published by the British Government, the World Health Organization, the NHS or Public Health England we will update this document.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 stands for, Coronavirus Disease 2019 and it is an infectious disease cause by a newly discovered coronavirus. Many people who are infected will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and will recover without any special treatment. However, older people and those with underlying medical problems such as, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease are likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down the spread of the virus is to keep yourself up to date with the latest information on COVID-19. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and you should refrain from not touching your face.

COVID-19 spreads mainly through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, you should practice respiratory etiquette, for example cough into a flexed elbow or into a tissue.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

          • A high temperature (37.8 Celsius or above).
          • A new, continuous cough.
          • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

When should I get a test?

You should go and get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible if you have any symptoms of coronavirus, these symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 Celsius or above).
  • A new, continuous cough.
  • A loss or change t your sense of smell or taste.

In England and Northern Ireland, the test needs to be done in the first 8 days of having symptoms.

In Wales and Scotland, the needs to be done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.

If you do not have any of the above symptoms or different symptoms you do not need to get tested.

Can anyone get a free test?

If you have any of the above COVID-19 symptoms you can get tested, you can also get a test if the following applies to you:

          • You have been asked to get a test by a local council.
          • You are taking part in a Government pilot project.
          • You have been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result.

You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.

If you are going into hospital to have surgery or any procedures, you may need to have a test prior to going into hospital. If this is required, then the hospital will arrange this for you.

Who cannot get a free test?

You cannot get a free test if:

Your school or employer has asked you to get a test, but you have no COVID-19 symptoms.

You have come to the UK from a high-risk country.

You are planning to leave the country.

If you feel the need to have a test for any reason and you do not qualify for a free test you can pay for a private test.

How do I book a test?

If you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms as listed above then you can book you free test by either calling 119 or at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

What is self-isolation?

Due to the nature of how COVID-19 spreads it is imperative that, should you test positive, live with someone who displays symptoms/tests positive or if you have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you stay at home for 10 days so that you do not risk passing this on to others.

When should I self-isolate?

You should self-isolate immediately if:

          • You have any symptoms of coronavirus (A high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss change to your sense of smell or taste).
          • You have tested positive for coronavirus.
          • Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive.
          • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms and you have been in close contact with them since their symptoms started or 48 hours before their test.
          • Someone in your support bubble tested positive and you’ve been in close contact with them since they had the test or in the 48 hours before their test.
          • You have been told you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive.
          • You arrive in the UK from another country.

What is social distancing?

Everyone in England should maintain a 2-metre distance from others where possible, where it is not possible you should maintain a 1 metre plus distance.

What is shielding?

People who are defined as extremely clinically vulnerable are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 will have received a letter from the Department of Health, NHS or their GP advising them to stay at home at all times and not leave the house, they will be advised to get support for essential items.

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble allows you to link 2 households together, you must meet certain eligibility to be able to form a support bubble. If you do form a support bubble with another household you can think of yourself as being in one household and you can have close contact.
The rules on who can form a support bubble changed on the 2nd December 2020 to widen eligibility for forming one; you can form a support bubble with another household if:

          • You live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support.
          • You are the only adult in your household who does not need continuous care because of a disability.
          • Your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on 2 December 2020.
          • Your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of 5 or was under that age on 2 December 2020.
          • You are aged 16 or 17 living with others of the same age and without any adults.
          • You are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on 12 June 2020.

You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble. You should form a support bubble with a household that is local to you to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If anyone in your support bubble develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 up to 48 hours after you last met you must self-isolate for 10 days and only get a test if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

What if you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with?

A child can move freely between both parents’ households without needing to form a support bubble to do this.

You can form a support bubble if eligible.

What is a childcare bubble?

A childcare bubble is different to a support bubble.

You might be able to form a childcare bubble to provide or receive childcare from one other household if you live with someone under the age of 14. You must not meet socially with your childcare bubble and you should avoid seeing your childcare bubble at the same time as your support bubble.

If you are in a support bubble this does not stop you from forming a childcare bubble.

What is NHS Test and Trace?

NHS Test and Trace is a Government service that ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents. It also helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

You can download the NHS Test and Trace app on to your smart phone using the below links:

Apple – NHS Test and Trace Apple App

Android – NHS Test and Trace Android App

What does close contact mean?

Close contact with regards to COVID-19 is where you have been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, please see a list of what is considered close contact below:

          • Face to face contact, this includes being coughed on or having a face to face conversation within one metre.
          • Being within one metre for one minute or longer without face to face contact.
          • Being within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact or added up together over one day).
          • Spending significant time within the same household.
          • Travelled in the same vehicle or plane.
          • Sexual partner.

Where you have interacted with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 through Perspex (or equivalent) is not usually considered to be a contact, providing there has been no other contact as listed above.

Anyone deemed a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified by NHS Test and Trace and should follow the guidance closely.

What is a travel corridor?

The British Government introduced travel corridors during the summer of 2020, this allowed people travelling from certain countries, where there was a low number of COVID-19 cases to travel to the UK without the need to self-isolate on their arrival. This list can be found using the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors.

However currently all travel corridors are suspended as of 4am on Monday 18th January 2021, meaning all passengers that arrive into the UK via rail, sea or air must self-isolate for 10 days, this isolation period starts the day after you arrive in the UK. You must provide a negative coronavirus test to travel to England.

Those returning from overseas will not be automatically eligible for statutory sick pay during this period.

Certain jobs may mean travellers to the UK are exempt from the isolation period when they arrive in the UK. A list of these jobs can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules.

References

World Health Organization – www.who.int, (2021). Coronavirus. [online]  https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1 [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]

NHS – www.nhs.uk, (2021. When to self-isolate and what to do. [online] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/#:~:text=Get%20a%20test%20as%20soon,you%20have%20different%20symptoms. [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]

Public Health Agency – www.publichealth.hscni.net, (2021). When to self-isolate – a simple guide. [online] www.publichealth.hscni.net, https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-information-public/when-self-isolate-simple-guide [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]

UK Government – www.gov.uk, (2020/2021). Making a support bubble with another household. [online] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]

UK Government – www.gov.uk, (2021). Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions. [online] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]

UK Government – www.gov.uk, (2020/2021). Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors. [online] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors#updates-to-the-travel-corridor-list [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]

UK Government – www.gov.uk, (2021). Get coronavirus test. [online] https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]

UK Government – www.gov.uk, (2021). Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person. [online] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person#:~:text=face%2Dto%2Dface%20contact%20including,up%20together%20over%20one%20day) [Accessed 18 Jan. 2021]