COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Here’s what to do if you think you may have coronavirus.

Last updated: 26th March 2020


This advice is for members of the public. If you work for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, check the staff intranet for current guidelines on coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus:


  • stay at home and avoid close contact with other people for 7 days

  • make sure anyone who lives with you stays home for 14 days, from when your symptoms first started

  • use the NHS 111 coronavirus service if you cannot cope with your symptoms or they do not improve


  • do not go to a GP surgery or pharmacy

  • do not visit our hospitals

NHS 111 service

NHS 111 has a dedicated online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you on next steps. You should only use this service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

How to protect yourself and others


The UK government has instructed everybody to stay at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

You should also:


  • regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

  • use hand sanitiser gel, if soap and water are not available

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands immediately after

  • stay 2 meters away from other people if you need to go outside

  • work from home, if you can

  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Information for people with learning disabilities or autism

Advice for volunteers

We understand if you would like to temporarily suspend your voluntary activities, or if you would like to move to another area. You should contact the ward or department you volunteer for to let them know, or call us on:

  • 0300 422 3451 (Cheltenham volunteers)
  • 0300 422 6648 (Gloucester volunteers)

We also advise that you follow the national guidance if you:

  • have an underlying health condition
  • are in an at risk category

Your ward or department may contact you if guidance in their local area changes and you may be asked not to attend. If this is the case and you would like to volunteer in another area, please let us know.