Keep up to date with Coronavirus information
Government guidance on and around Coronavirus change quickly. This page has the information you need to know about Coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus or Covid-19 is an infectious disease. It’s a newly discovered variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is spread easily from person to person by coughing, sneezing and in droplets of saliva. It is the cause of the current global pandemic, which has meant we have all had to stay at home for long periods of time.
Most infected people have mild to moderate symptoms, but others become very poorly. Some experience symptoms for a long time, this is known as Long Covid or post-COVID-19 syndrome. Some need hospital treatment and in the worst cases it can kill. Some people experience no symptoms at all and so they can spread Covid on to others without realising they are infected.
As restrictions are now lifted across the United Kingdom there are still steps we should take to protect ourselves and others. Here’s a quick list of information you need to know:
- NHS Advice on Covid-19
- When and how to get tested
- When to isolate in order to protect ourselves and others
- Get vaccinated if possible. Vaccinations are now available for all adults and 16 and 17 year olds in the United Kingdom.
- When to seek additional help with your recovery from Covid
The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:
- a new continuous cough
- high temperature
- loss or change in your sense of smell and or taste
Long Covid or post-COVID-19 syndrome
How long it takes to recover from Covid ranges from a few days to more than 12 weeks. Symptoms can be mild or severe. They include:
- shortness of breath
- joint pain
- loss of sense of taste and smell
- depression and anxiety
Your Covid Recovery Website is an NHS website with more information to help guide you through your recovery from Covid-19.
What is long Covid? Watch the BBC News videos by doctors in 5 South Asian languages including Punjabi, Urdu, Sylheti, Gujarati, Tamil.
You may be invited to take part in the HEAL Covid trial on discharge from hospital.
Testing for Coronavirus
Think you have Covid-19 symptoms?
No Covid Symptoms? Get a lateral flow test
Lateral flow tests are available for free to everyone in the United Kingdom so you can test yourself regularly. These tests are for people without any symptoms. They help to screen people who may not realise they are infected. If you test positive using a lateral flow test you should isolate and book a full PCR Covid test
You can request a pack of lateral flow tests to be sent to your home or collect a pack from your local pharmacy. You can ask for more packs of tests as needed.
How to avoid catching and spreading
Covid-19 is spread easily from person to person. Many people who are infected don’t have symptoms.
- Get vaccinated
- Wash your hands with warm water an soap for at least 20 seconds regularly (the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice)
- Hand wash rap
- Wear a face mask The World health Organisation recommends this especially in enclosed spaces.
- Socially distance: avoid standing or sitting close to others. 2 metres is the safest distance to put between yourself and someone else.
- Fresh air: open the window or go outside to socialise with others
- Avoid crowded places
- Avoid unnecessary travel
- Work from home, if you can
People at higher risk from coronavirus
Some people are more at risk of being very unwell with coronavirus. People in this group are sometimes referred to as “clinically extremely vulnerable”. This includes:
- people with an existing health condition such as: diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, stroke or Parkinson’s.
- pregnant people
- older people
There are things you can do if you are in this higher risk group to try to avoid catching Covid-19 such as
- get vaccinated – everyone aged 16 or over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now
- wait for at least 21 days after you’ve had your 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before meeting with people
- meet people outside if possible
- open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
- ask friends and family to take a rapid lateral flow test before visiting you
- limit the number of people you meet and avoid crowded places
- wear a face covering when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
- wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
Practical support if you are isolating at home
From 16 August, if you are a contact of someone who has COVID-19 and you are fully vaccinated, or aged under 18 years 6 months, you will not be required to self-isolate. if you have symptoms you should take a test and say home until you get results. Practical support includes:
- CityLife Line If you are self-isolating and need support contact the Welfare and Wellbeing team. They offer advice and support on issues that might be making self-isolation more difficult, such as: food, money, work and more.
- Food banks and free emergency food
- Free meals and cheap food
- Help with shopping and prescriptions
Keep an eye on Newcastle City Council corporate coronavirus pages for latest local information and support.
Care homes and home care
- Guidance on care home visiting includes end of life and infection control
- Guidance on taking someone out of a care home including risk assessment, someone has symptoms and a link to named visitors
All adults over the age of 16 can now book an appointment for a vaccination or turn up to a walk in vaccination clinic.
You can book a booster vaccine 6 months and one week after your second dose. You may receive a text to remind you.
Keep an eye on Newcastle City Council Twitter page for latest pop up vaccination centres and clinics
Fully vaccinated means:
- People who have been vaccinated with a full course of one the vaccines approved by the MHRA for use in the UK which has been administered in the UK;
- The vaccinations have been administered with at least 8 to 12 weeks between first and second dose and
- there were 14 days between the final dose and last contact with the case.
Approved vaccines are:
- Oxford / Astra Zeneca
Holidays abroad and quarantine
Please keep an eye on the guidance for travel. Countries have moved in and out of the traffic light list and therefore quarantine and proof of vaccinations requirements change regularly. Please read travel abroad from England during the coronavirus
You may be asked to show that you are vaccinated against or that you have tested negative for Covid-19 before you travel or attend an event. This is known as a Covid Pass.
You can access a Covid Pass online using the NHS App.
NHS Covid App is used for track and trace, checking your symptoms and advice
NHS App is where you can get your digital NHS COVID Pass; order repeat prescriptions; search for, book and cancel appointments at your GP surgery, and see details of your upcoming and past appointments; register your organ donation decision
Domestic abuse and safeguarding
Extended periods of time at home have put people more at risk of domestic abuse. There is local support available if you are experiencing domestic abuse
The Silent Police Solution: make yourself heard when calling 999 but unable to speak
- Listen to the call handler’s questions
- Cough or tap the handset if possible
- Press 55 if prompted, to let them know your call is genuine. You will then be put through to the police
If calling from a landline the silent solution can’t be used. They will try to ask you questions and get a response from you. If they can’t decide whether your call is genuine, the call may be ended. However, the call may stay connected for 45 seconds. Pick up the handset again to let the police know your call is genuine. If the call handler is worried about your safety you will be connected to your local police. Calling from a landline gives the call handler more information about your location.
Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately)
Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is a codeword scheme developed by the Home Office to provide a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.
In the Northumbria force area, domestic abuse victims will be able to use the codeword ANI in Boots pharmacies to let staff know that they require an emergency police response, or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service. Other independent pharmacies are not yet participating in the project but we will let you know if this changes.
Help to plan your trip to Newcastle City Centre
How Busy Is Toon ? gives you information to help understand how busy the buses, roads and city centre is. So you feel safe and prepared when planning to visit Newcastle city centre. Visit the website to see:
- Street images of: Northumberland Street, Grey Street, Barrack Road and Blackett Street, updated every 5 minutes
- Images of key roads into the city, updated every 15 minutes
- A real-time map showing the location of every bus operating across Newcastle, searchable by route number
- Car park spaces available
- Up-to-date traffic and travel information
- Information on Electric vehicle (EV) charging locations
- Walking and cycling routes to help you plan your journey
- Up-to-date coronavirus rules and safety guidance
- Scams, fraud and cybercrime during the coronavirus and beyond
- Stay connected online during the coronavirus
- Keeping in touch online
- Mental health
- Online events and activities
Last updated: October 8, 2021