Symptoms and what to do

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get the result.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • 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 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

The NHS 111 Wales online coronavirus service will ask about your symptoms and tell you what to do.

Use the Coronavirus Symptom Checker to find out what to do.

Only call NHS 111 Wales if you cannot get help online. DO NOT delay calling 111 if you develop any new worsening symptoms.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  2. You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.

If you have Covid-19 symptoms you must get a test. If the test result is positive you will be given further information on next steps. If the test result is negative, this means you are at low risk of having coronavirus. To apply for a Coronavirus test, then please either ring 119 or  click here You need to take the test in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It is best to apply for the test in the first 3 days as it may take 1 or 2 days to arrange.

Test, Trace, Protect

For further information on NHS COVID-19 app, testing and contact tracing click here.

Babies and children

Call 111 if you're worried about a baby or child under 5.

If your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call 999.

Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.

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Self isolation information

Read Welsh Government advice Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus.

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Coronavirus in children

Children can get coronavirus (COVID-19), but they seem to get it less often than adults and it's usually less serious.

What to do if your child has symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Call NHS 111 Wales If your child has these symptoms.

What to do if your child seems very unwell

Children and babies will still get illnesses that can make them very unwell quickly. It's important to get medical help if you need it.

Call NHS 111 Wales or your GP surgery if your child:

  • is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 38C or higher, or you think they have a fever
  • is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature of 39C or higher, or you think they have a fever
  • has other signs of illness, such as a rash, as well as a high temperature (fever)
  • has a high temperature that's lasted for 5 days or more
  • does not want to eat, or is not their usual self and you're worried
  • has a high temperature that does not come down with paracetamol
  • is dehydrated – for example, nappies are not very wet, sunken eyes, and no tears when they're crying

Call 999 if your child:

  • has a stiff neck
  • has a rash that does not fade when you press a glass against it (use the "glass test" from Meningitis Now)
  • is bothered by light
  • has a seizure or fit for the first time (they cannot stop shaking)
  • has unusually cold hands and feet
  • has pale, blotchy, blue or grey skin
  • has a weak, high-pitched cry that's not like their usual cry
  • is drowsy and hard to wake
  • is extremely agitated (does not stop crying) or is confused
  • finds it hard to breathe and sucks their stomach in under their ribs
  • has a soft spot on their head that curves outwards
  • is not responding like they usually do, or not interested in feeding or usual activities
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Pregnant women and new parents

It is natural to feel a range of emotions when you’re pregnant, become new parents or are a parent of a young child.  Changes to services and daily routines, have for some people, caused extra stress and worry.  To help ease your concerns, Public Health Wales have answered some of your most frequently asked questions. 

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Leaflets about the COVID-19 vaccine are available here.

Please visit Public Health Wales for the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccination.


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Long Covid

If you have had COVID-19 symptoms for more than 4 weeks OR are concerned about ongoing symptoms click here COVID-19 Recovery App and links to Heath Boards.

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More information

Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

The Welsh Ambulance Service is working hard to keep its staff safe and to protect the people of Wales during the coronavirus pandemic. As we continue to follow UK Government guidance, you might see our crews wearing protective clothing and equipment that looks different from our usual green uniform. If you see some of us wearing aprons, masks or white suits, please don’t worry. This is called Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and is used to keep our staff and our patients safe.

What is PPE?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is special clothing and equipment worn by our crews to reduce and prevent the risk of transmitting contamination to our staff, patients and surrounding equipment.

Are there different types of PPE?
There are different levels of PPE used depending on how great the potential risk of infection and contamination is.

Disposable gloves, aprons and facemasks are the most common types of PPE you are likely to see our crews wearing. Under certain conditions they might also wear some sort of eye-protection and a white, hooded one-piece suit.

When will your crews wear PPE?
Our crews will need to minimise risk of transmission by wearing the appropriate PPE. Please be assured, if you see ambulance staff wearing PPE it will not necessarily mean the patient has Covid-19.

What if they arrive and aren’t wearing PPE?
Unless we have been notified or suspect that a patient might have coronavirus symptoms, then our responding crew may not be wearing PPE when they arrive.  Our staff will always carry out normal good hygiene practice whether PPE is appropriate or not.

Should I call 999 if I have coronavirus symptoms?
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the coronavirus symptom checker.

Call 999 only if you have a life-threatening emergency – make sure you tell the call-taker if you think you have coronavirus symptoms.

Government information and advice

Public Health Wales information (latest statements and data)

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Information in BSL

The following videos provide information about coronavirus (COVID19) in British Sign Language (BSL).

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Information in other languages

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information leaflet - available in large print, easy read and other languages.  Leaflet on what to do to help stop the spread of coronavirus, including information on symptoms and government support.



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The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website
Last Updated: 24/01/2021 16:01:55