What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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For the latest health news and advice regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the NHS website or GOV.UK.

Coronavirus is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.

The council has been following all advice and guidance from the UK government. This is a situation that is rapidly changing, we are in daily contact with Public Health England who are leading the national response.

Cllr Graham Henson issued a statement on the council’s plans and preparations.

Symptoms and advice

We encourage all residents to continue following advice from NHS and PHE. You can find out more about the COVID-19 Coronavirus on the NHS website.

The advice from NHS is as follows:

  • If you develop a new continuous cough or high temperature, you must self isolate for 7 days and 14 days if you or someone in your household develops symptoms – this includes for any mild symptoms
  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • Only contact NHS 111 if your condition gets worse/does not improve after 7 days

Please read the full details on self isolation and what to do if you develop symptoms.

How to protect yourself

Stay at home

The government has now updated the guidance on the new measures the Prime Minister introduced on Monday 23rd March 2020:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes;
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces; and
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.


The most effective way to protect yourself and others is by:

  • regularly washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • catching a cough or sneeze on a tissue
  • binning used tissues immediately and then washing your hands.

You can familiarise yourself with the UK wide campaign to slow the spread of the virus.

Social distancing

  • Avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms
  • Avoid non essential use of public transport
  • Work from home where possible. Your employer should support you.
  • Avoid gatherings in public spaces

Returning from abroad or visitors from abroad

If you are travelling check the latest information and advice from the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Please refer to travelhealthpro.org.uk for the latest travel advice. 

Public Health England has also issued general travel advice for members of the public.

Easy read information about the Coronavirus

We have created an easy read guide to explain what the Coronavirus is.

Harrow outbreak control plan

The Harrow Outbreak Control Plan is signed by Association of Directors of Public Health, Faculty of Public Health, Public Health England, Local Government Association, Solace and UK Chief Environmental Officers Group.