Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Your information hub about Coronavirus
In these unsettling times, we appreciate you may have some questions regarding COVID-19 and your business health insurance policy. The health and wellbeing of your staff and members is our top priority and we want to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to support your business. You might be able to find the answers you’re looking for in our FAQs Coronavirus FAQ's.
We’ve produced this useful guide to give you up to date information about coronavirus as well as the latest government advice.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold, to more severe conditions such as pneumonia, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) that has caused the outbreak in China is new, and not previously known.
When did it begin?
On 31st December 2019, the World Health Organisation received reports of pneumonia of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in China. Authorities in China quickly identified the cause as a new (or novel) strain of coronavirus in early January.
On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organisation confirmed coronavirus as a pandemic and there’s a total of 788,522 cases of COVID-19 which is rising every day.
What causes coronavirus?
These types of virus cause illnesses in animals and humans. COVID-19 can be spread person-to-person but the original source of the virus has not been confirmed.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of this coronavirus include:
- Respiratory symptoms (like those you have with a cold)
- Fever (high temperature)
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
In more severe cases the virus can cause pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – a severe form of pneumonia, kidney failure and death.
Who is affected?
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 200 countries and territories around the world. The top ten countries affected by COVID-19 are:
How should I protect myself?
On 23rd March, Boris Johnson announced a three-week period of lockdown measures. He advised that all UK residents must stay at home to protect the NHS amid the growing threat of coronavirus.
The current measures to protect everyone are to:
Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Do not meet others, even friends or family.
Remember, you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
We’ve upgraded all our business health insurance products to include EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) EAP is an additional support programme for staff and members. Services include face to face counselling sessions, 24-hour HR and line manager helpline and critical incident support for traumatic experiences such as fire, theft and explosions.
24-Hour GP Advice Line
Our 24-Hour GP Advice Line is available across all our business health insurance products. This helpline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your employees are experiencing health concerns or can’t their own GP, they’ll be able to speak directly to one of our GPs or specialist doctor from the comfort of their own homes. Our doctors can even send prescriptions directly to the door or a local pharmacy.
24/7 Health & Wellbeing Services
We are pleased to include 24/7 Health and Wellbeing Support within all of our business health insurance policies, offering additional reassurance to your members and their families. Complimentary services including telephone counselling, self-help programmes and medical information.
Where can I get updated information about Novel Coronavirus?
The World Health Organisation is providing regular updates about Novel Coronavirus.
National and regional health authorities are also publishing local guidance on their websites, including Public Health England.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
- Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
- If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.
- Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.
If you’re worried about existing travel plans abroad, check with your airline or travel provider.
Visit Foreign Travel Advice to find out more.
Do not go to your GP surgery, pharmacy or a hospital
- If you need medical help for any reason, call 111
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.
If you’re in Scotland, call your GP or 111 out of hours.
If you’re in Wales or Northern Ireland, call 111.