Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact if I become unwell?
UK: 111 (NHS 111)
Berlin: 030 90282828
Hamburg: 0404 282 84000
Frankfurt: 0800 5554 666
Essen: 0201 123 8888
Munich: 09131 6808 5101
Norway: 815 55 015
The Netherlands: 0800 13 51
Austria: 0800 555 621
Denmark: 72 22 74 59
Portugal 351 808 24 24 24
Where can I go for more information and updates on the Coronavirus?
National Health Service (NHS):
World Health Organisation (WHO):
World Health Organisation (WHO) travel advice:
Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice:
Public Health England:
Click here for some further responses to FAQs
What is Coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause illnesses similar to the common cold or flu. COVID-19 is a new strain of the coronavirus and extreme measures are being taken globally to try to contain the spread of the virus.
How is the virus spread?
COVID-19 infection is thought to pass from person to person through cough droplets. The virus can also spread from touching objects including tabletops and door handles.
What is a pandemic?
A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. A pandemic occurs when a new virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population, begins to cause serious illnesses, and then spreads from person-to-person worldwide.
Who can get COVID-19?
Everyone is susceptible to it, and therefore, everyone should take the precautions listed below. Individuals who are over the age of 60 or have underlying health conditions, such as respiratory viruses, heart disease or diabetes, are at a greater risk of developing more serious symptoms if they are infected with coronavirus.
What are the symptoms of this virus?
The symptoms can range from no symptoms to flu like symptoms. The most reported symptoms are a dry cough, a fever and shortness of breath. The vast majority of people will get cold or flu-like symptoms. Vulnerable people are at a higher risk to develop more serious symptoms including shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. The virus can be present for 14 days before symptoms occur and therefore you may have no symptoms but still be infected with the virus.
How do you treat COVID-19?
Treatment of this virus is to manage the symptoms. There is no specific proven antiviral medication and antibiotics will not help as they do not work against viruses. The majority of people will recover without the need for specific treatment as is the case for the common cold or flu. If you are concerned about your symptoms, take medical advice from your national health care provider, e.g. for the UK – NHS 111.
How can I avoid catching or spreading germs?
- Adhere to national and local government regulation and guidance.
- Everyone is susceptible to this virus. Therefore, everyone should take precautions, even if you have no symptoms:
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel if soap is not available.
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a clean tissue rather than your bare hands. Throw the tissue in the bin immediately.
- Clean all surfaces including desks, door handles and mobile phones regularly.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
- Self isolate, stay at home and rest.
- Call your local COVID-19 hotline detailed at the top of this document for advice and follow the advice of healthcare professionals.
If you are self-isolating, you should:
- Stay at home.
- Do not go to work, school or public places.
- Do not use public transport or taxis.
- Ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- You may need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.
Do I need a face mask?
A face mask will not protect you from catching the virus. A face mask might be beneficial for those already infected with the virus to prevent them spreading it.
How can I prepare for COVID 19?
- Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and who have fever and a cough.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly for 20 seconds and especially before and after preparing food and after using public transport.
- Practice good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.
- Clean hard surfaces (kitchen worktops, door handles) frequently using normal cleaning products.
- Ensure a friend or family member knows if you are feeling unwell. Request them to assist you, so you do not leave home.
- Know your emergency services telephone numbers and those of other family members and keep them in a safe place.