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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I avoid catching and spreading Coronavirus?

The best way to show solidarity during this crisis will be to take official government advice seriously and take care that you are not passing on the infection to others around you. Take care of yourself, your family, friends and neighbours as an immediate priority, and follow NHS guidance:

DO

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

DON’T

  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • have visitors to your home, including friends and family

Please take the time to read the NHS pages on coronavirus for health information and advice.

 

I’m struggling with my mental health and wellbeing at this moment, what can I do?

An outbreak like this can affect our mental health and wellbeing. It’s okay to feel this way, and you’re not alone. Here are some tips from the Mental Health Foundation which we hope will help you, your friends and your family to look after your mental health.

  • Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. This could be reading more, having an exercise routine or trying relaxation techniques.
  • Try to stay connected with other people regularly, either by phone-calls, video-calls, email or social media.
  • There is extensive news coverage about the outbreak. If you find that the news is causing you huge stress, find a balance that works for you.
  • With social media, if there are particular accounts or people that are increasing your worry or anxiety, consider muting or unfollowing them.
  • Try to avoid speculation and get up-to-date information and advice on coronavirus from reliable sources such as the NHS and Gov.uk websites, to help you feel more in control.

The Mental Health Foundation is dedicated to providing information to you during this time. You can find more information and advice on their website here.

If you need support, Samaritans are available to talk 24/7 for free on 116 123. You can contact Samaritans any time you like on the number above, and you can also visit their website here.

 

I’m concerned about the safety of myself or another at home during this period of self isolation. What support is available?

Coronavirus will affect the most vulnerable in our society, and sadly for some of us, home isn’t a safe environment. If you’re concerned about domestic violence and abuse and need support or advice, it’s important to tell someone and remember that you’re not alone.

The NHS website has valuable information on getting help for domestic abuse, and you can also reach out for support using the contacts listed below:

  • Talk to a doctor, health visitor or midwife
  • Women can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 for free at any time, day or night. The staff will offer confidential, non-judgemental information and support
  • Men can call Men’s Life Advice on 0808 8010 327 (Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 8pm, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm) for non-judgemental information and support
  • Men can also call ManKind on 0182 3334 244 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
  • If you identify as LGBT+ you can call Galop on 0800 999 5428 for emotional and practical support
  • Anyone can call Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) for forced marriage and honour crimes. You can also call 020 7008 0151 to speak to the GOV.UK Forced Marriage Unit
  • In an emergency, call 999

 

I’m low on provisions and I don’t have the money for food, where can I turn to for help?

Please contact your local food bank if you need emergency food or support. The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks – you can find your local food bank and more information by visiting their website here.

 

I’m worried about my housing situation at this time, what can I do?

In response to coronavirus, the government announced legislation on 18 March banning new evictions from social and private housing for the next three months. You can find more information on the Gov.uk website. The Labour Party is pushing the government to go further – you can find out more about our plan for Wages, Welfare and Wellbeing here.

If you’re worried about how coronavirus could affect your housing situation, Shelter has a really helpful coronavirus and housing information page, covering everything from your rights to the latest legislation.

 

What are the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) I should watch out for?

  • A high temperature – this 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 three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Please take the time to read the NHS pages on coronavirus for health information and advice.

 

What should I do if I have coronavirus symptoms?

Please stay at home for seven days if you have either of the symptoms listed above. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Instead, use the 111 online coronavirus service which will help and explain what steps you should take.

 

I’m showing symptoms, but I’m worried about my job and the impact this may have?

It is government advice that employees should take time off work if they are ill, and employers are urged to support their staff’s welfare. Your employer is obliged to pay you Statutory Sick Pay from day one if you need to self isolate.

By law, medical evidence isn’t required for the first seven days of sickness and you can self certify. If your employer does require evidence after seven days of absence, then you can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online.

Please take the time to read the government guidance online for more advice and your rights as an employee. Again, Labour is pushing the government to go further on workers’ rights and protection – you can find out more about our plan for Wages, Welfare and Wellbeing here.

 

What should I do if I live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus?

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms.

Please take the time to read the NHS advice about staying at home.

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