COVID-19 Health advice

Manchester Covid Helpline 

Call free 0800 840 3858 or text 07890 036 892 

The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

This is a free telephone service that can help anyone who: 

  • Has questions about COVID-19
  • Needs help to book their COVID-19 vaccination
  • Needs help to book COVID-19 testing
  • Has questions on when to isolate. 

Advice will be from the nursing team and a translation service is available.

Things that everyone can do to help control the virus 

  • Get your Covid-19 vaccinations –
  • Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer  
  • Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed places when you come into contact with people whom you do not normally meet  
  • Wash your hands regularly  
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean  
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms - While you’re no longer required by law to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19, you should still stay at home and avoid contact with other people. This helps reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others. 

What is COVID-19 and what are the symptoms?

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, get a test and stay at home until you get the results.  

Symptoms of COVID-19 in adults can include:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature 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
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu. 

What to do if you have symptoms? 

Try to stay at home for at least 5 days and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and either: 

  • you have a high temperature
  • you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities

Take extra care to avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

You can go back to your normal activities when you feel better or do not have a high temperature. 

What to do if your child has Covid-19 symptoms? 

The NHS website has advice for parents, guardians and those who care for children about what to do if they have Covid-19 symptoms. 

Covid testing  

From 1 April 2022, the Government will no longer provide free universal symptomatic (PCR) and asymptomatic (LFD) testing for the general public in England.   

However, the most vulnerable people will continue to receive free lateral flow test kits if they are symptomatic find out more information at   

For other people, they will be able to buy LFD kits at chemists and supermarkets.   

In Manchester, all the PCR testing sites (for people with Covid symptoms) closed at 6pm on Wednesday 30 March 2022.  

For the latest government Covid advice visit   

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme has closed. If you were told to self-isolate before 24 February, you can still make a claim up to 6 April.   

Find out when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website  

Clinically vulnerable people 

Shielding ended on 31 March. Read the guidance on protecting people defined as medically vulnerable on  

Get mental health support by text message 

The SHOUT text messaging service gives free, confidential mental health support by text message, and is now available to people of all ages in Greater Manchester who are in crisis. 

Advice for carers 

Read the government’s Covid-19 advice for unpaid cares in England 

Quitting smoking 

Smokers may be more seriously affected by COVID-19 than non-smokers, so there's never been a better time to give up. 
The following resources are available to help you quit smoking: 

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