Bristol, and the rest of the UK, is now in lockdown. To protect your loved ones, please stay at home.

If you have coronavirus symptoms (cough and a temperature above 37.8c):

Of those that catch Coronavirus, the majority of people will only suffer mild or moderate symptoms that can be treated at home.

If you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or you do not get better after 7 days, please use NHS 111 online.

Or phone 111 if you do not have internet access.

If you share your household:

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of Coronavirus (new and continous cough or a temperature above 37.8c), then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.

The advice is to plan ahead so that you do not have to leave your house to purchase food and other goods during that time. You can still leave the house to exercise, but this should be done at a safe distance from others.

If you live alone:

If you live alone and you have a new and continous cough or a temperature above 37.8c, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

The advice is to plan ahead so that you do not have to leave your house to purchase food and other goods during that time. You can still leave the house to exercise, but this should be done at a safe distance from others. More information is below.

Constituent FAQs

I have or care for, school-aged children. What should I do?

Children are thought to be the least at-risk group from COVID-19. Although current scientfic thinking indicates that children may be capable of spreading the virus. 

All schools and further education providers have closed until further notice. Exams have been suspended for this year, as have school performance tables. If your child receives Free School Meals, your school will continue to provide this service.

If you are worker involved in frontline Coronavirus support (Government list here), your children can still go to school if necessary.

If you have children who require additional support, including those with a social worker or an educational health and care plan, your children can still go to school.

You can call the Department for Education’s COVID-19 helpline for further guidance on 0800 046 8687, however, this helpline is likely to be very busy. Your child’s school should also be regularly getting updates from the Government and it may be quicker to get in touch with the school directly for guidance

I’ve had to self-isolate but my employer is asking me for proof that I have Coronavirus if I want to continue getting sick-pay. What should I do?

The government strongly advises businesses not to ask their employees to provide medical evidence (Doctor’s note or a positive test) if the absence is due to Coronavirus. 

For companies that employee under 250 people., Employers will be refunded 14 days any employee Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payment. By law, employers are not allowed to ask for medical proof of illness during the first 7 days of SSP.

Government advice is to self-isolate if you, or someone in your household, experience even mild Coronavirus symptoms. The Government urges businesses to behave in a way that enables this behaviour. 

What is the Government doing to help people who are self-employed/on low incomes?

Those that are self-employed, or part of the ‘gig economy’, will be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC )from day one of their self-isolation windows. This is different from Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that is available to employed workers and some people on zero-hour contracts (more below). SSP will also be available from day 1 of self-isolation.

The ESA and UC eligibility criteria have changed to take into account the Coronavirus. From now on, if you suffer from Coronavirus or are self-isolating because someone in your household has the virus:

  1. ESA will available from day 1, instead of day 7.
  2. You can now apply for UC without providing medical access or completing a work-capability assessment.
  3. UC work search and availability checks have been suspended. 
  4. Those claiming UC will also be able to access work allowance and childcare support. 
  5. The UC Minimum Income Floor has been temporarily suspended. 

This means you will able to access UC without going through the normal check process. To avoid having to wait for payments, please make sure you request a UC Advance when you apply.

If you are on a zero-hour contract you may be eligible for SSP. This will depend on how many hours you regularly work and income you recieve. Please contact your employer directly to check if you are eligible.

This page will be updated daily. Last Update: 26/03/2020 10:54