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Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Policy – Advice for Employees

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans.

The risk of getting the illness in the UK is low.

Advice to travellers returning from China

Travellers returning from Wuhan and Hubei Province

If you have returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province in the last 14 days:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people
  • Call NHS 111 to tell them of your recent travel to the city

Employees should follow this advice even if they do not have symptoms of the virus.

If you get a cough, a high temperature, or you feel short of breath, continue to follow this advice. Do not leave your house without getting advice from a doctor.

Travellers returning from other parts of China

If you’ve returned from other areas of China (but not Hong Kong or Macao) in the last 14 days, and get a cough or fever, or you feel short of breath:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people
  • Call NHS 111 to tell them of your recent travel to China

Employees should follow this advice even if their symptoms are mild.

What this means in practice

This means staying at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or other parts of China if you have symptoms) and not going to work or public areas.

Try to avoid having visitors to your home, but it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.

While the risk to the UK population remains low, these steps are recommended to limit the potential spread of infection.

Transport

Do not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after your return from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or other parts of China if you have symptoms).

Getting food and medicine

Stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or other parts of China if you have symptoms) and avoid public places. Ask a friend, family member or delivery services to carry out errands on your behalf.

Taking children to school

Stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or other parts of China if you have symptoms) and avoid public places. Ask a friend or family member to take your children to school. If your children are well and have not been in Wuhan or Hubei Province, there is no need for them to stay off school.

 What is the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.

Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus

Symptoms usually include:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Difficulty breathing

How is coronavirus spread between people?

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets.

Advice includes:

  • Ensuring everyone washes their hands regularly with soap and water
  • Cleaning surfaces regularly
  • Always carry tissues
  • Using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Binning the tissues as soon as possible

Treatment for coronavirus

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms.

Further information

GOV.UK has further information on coronavirus and the situation in the UK, and advice on travel to China.

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