On Monday 16 March, following an emergency meeting with Cobra, the UK Government has significantly changed its advice in a number of areas in relation to Coronavirus.
Following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration that Coronavirus is now a global pandemic, the UK Government has also raised our risk to ‘high’.
The UK Government has asked the general public to start ‘social distancing’, and think more carefully about how we interact with each other in person, and whether there are ways we can reduce ‘close contact’.
Latest Government advice
The Government has now advised the following measures should be taken:
- Isolating households for 14 days, if one family member becomes unwell or has Coronavirus symptoms (a new persistent cough or a temperature)
- Asking businesses to increase the amount of home working, where possible
- Asking people to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres, restaurants, and other social venues
- Limiting to essential travel only
- Only use the NHS when it’s really necessary, or use NHS111 online
- ‘High risk’ individuals (including those with illnesses, pregnant women and the older population) to take additional care
What to do if you think you are affected by Coronavirus
If you live alone and you have symptoms of Coronavirus however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
- A high temperature (37.8 or above) – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Further advice is:
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
- Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
- If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
- If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
- If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Further information and advice from the NHS for the public can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
How Simplyhealth can support you
Customers with a Simplyhealth Plan have 24/7 access to GPs and Physiotherapists, including the benefit of video GP consultations. However, this service should not be used for Coronavirus related enquiries but can be used for all other medical concerns.
Simplyhealth’s Telephone Counselling Service also provides customers with direct access to Counsellors, giving them the opportunity to talk about any worries or concerns they may have. The Counsellors can help with a range of topics from financial and legal advice, to relationship and travel information.
Simplyhealth customers can call 0800 975 3347 any day, any time for free confidential help.
For anyone interested in taking out a Simplyhealth Plan, you can take out a plan online at www.simplyhealth.co.uk.
Or you can contact us with further questions at: https://www.simplyhealth.co.uk/health-plans/simplyhealth-plan/contact-us
We are continuing to monitor the situation in the UK and will update our advice and support as things develop.
Chief Operating Officer at Simplyhealth