COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Help stop the spread of COVID-19

The NHS in Dorset and Public Health England are working to manage and limit the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). You can help by taking these steps, in line with Government advice.

Observe social distancing


  • you can meet in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household - you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case - even inside someone’s home - that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers
  • when you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
  • those who have been able to form a support bubble (i.e. those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in the bubble, but you should not change who you have formed a support bubble with
  • work from home if possible
  • you must wear a face covering when you use public transport and visit hospitals or any other healthcare site. It’s also recommend that you wear one in confined spaces such as shops.

Self-isolate and get tested

The primary symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • high temperature (37.8 degrees or more)
  • loss of taste or smell
  • new continuous cough.

If you have any of these symptoms please self-isolate and call 119 or visit for a test.

If your test is positive, you must not leave your home at all for 10 days (or 14 days if you share your home with others). You will also be asked to provide details of your recent contact to NHS Test and Trace.

The self-isolation period was extended on 30 July from 7 to 10 days for those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

This extension will help provide additional protection to others in the community. This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission.

If you test negative, your household does not need to isolate and you can stop isolating when you feel well.

If your symptoms worsen, contact NHS 111 online, or call 111 if you have no internet access.

Practice good hygiene

  • Please wash your hands more often than usual for 20 seconds each time, or use hand sanitiser gel. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

A full list of what you can and can't do is on the government's website.

Easy read information:

Your COVID recovery

Evidence shows that a significant proportion of post COVID-19 patients are likely to have significant on-going health problems, notably breathing difficulties, tiredness and cough, reduced muscle function, reduced ability to undertake physical activity and psychological symptoms such as PTSD and reduced mood status.

Your Covid Recovery is a new NHS website designed to help people recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19 and support them to manage their recovery. It includes information from rehabilitation experts about how to manage on-going symptoms and health needs at home, and signposts to sources of support.

It also includes information on returning to work, and a helpful section for family, friends and carers of people who are recovering.

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