If you think you might have coronavirus
- a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.
Most people with symptoms have at least one of these.
Many people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others.
What to do if you have these symptoms
Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and either:
- you have a high temperature
- you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities
Take extra care to avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
You can go back to your normal activities when you feel better or do not have a high temperature.
Get help from NHS 111 if:
- You are worried about your symptoms
- You are not sure what to do
Testing for COVID-19
Free testing for COVID-19 from the NHS has ended for most people in England.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you are no longer required to do a rapid lateral flow or PCR test.
If you still want to get tested and you're not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for a COVID-19 test yourself.
You can buy a COVID-19 test from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online.
How to avoid catching or spreading germs
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
Put used tissues in the bin straight away.
Wash your hands with soap and water often, and for 20 seconds – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Face masks - when to wear one
From 27 January 2022, face coverings are no longer required by law in most indoor public spaces and on public transport, including buses and trains.
Some health services, including GP surgeries and hospitals, may continue to require patients and visitors to wear face coverings. You will need to check with individual services before your visit.
Face coverings are not required in hospitality venues where food and drinks are consumed, such as pubs and cafes, during exercise, such as in the gym, or when dancing, such as in a nightclub.
In indoor settings where face masks are not a legal requirement, it is still recommended that you wear one in enclosed or crowded spaces where you might come into contact with people you might not normally meet.
Getting tested for COVID-19
For guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of tests, check out our article with all the information you need to know.
NHS England has produced a list of common questions about coronavirus, covering advice for you and your family, how it's caught and spread, prevention, self-isolation, testing and treatment and foreign travel.
Other places for information: