Latest information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) risks
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

 Am I at increased risk of severe COVID-19?

To find out if you are at increased risk of severe COVID-19, check the following websites:

Pre-travel COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing for the purposes of international travel is not available on the NHS. Pre-travel COVID-19 tests are available for a fee in the private sector via tour operators or through major high street pharmacies. Private testing processes and accuracy of results may vary. This should be discussed with the test provider before payment.

If you need to travel internationally for work and require evidence of a test, you should speak to your employer or occupational health adviser.

Further information on available COVID-19 testing kits and their limitations, can be found in the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guidance: For patients, the public and professional users: a guide to COVID-19 tests and testing kits.

How is the risk of exposure to COVID-19 determined?

The risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) from travelling to countries worldwide is determined following a comprehensive risk assessment process led by Public Health England who work in conjunction with the public health bodies of the UK devolved nations. This process is regularly reviewed and any changes to the risk for UK travellers will be continually updated on the country pages of our travel websites. 

These country specific COVID-19 risk categories are a guide to the risk of exposure risk to travellers and should always be considered alongside the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

Does wearing a face covering stop me catching coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The most important way to protect yourself is by maintaining physical distancing (so coughs and sneezes can't reach your face), keeping your hands clean and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with hands that are not clean.

Face coverings mainly reduce the risk of you passing coronavirus (COVID-19) to other people, especially when it isn't possible to keep physically distanced. This is because you may shed the virus in coughs and sneezes before you start to feel ill, and some people will never feel ill. The face covering catches the coughs and sneezes and so stops the virus landing directly on other people's face or on surfaces that other people might touch. The face covering may stop other peoples' coughs and sneezes landing directly in your nose or mouth, but would not stop it landing in your eyes.

  • A face covering does not stop you getting virus on your hands when you touch surfaces, which is why its is important to regularly clean your hands, especially before you touch your face, including adjusting your face covering.

A face covering should safely cover your nose and mouth. It can be made from cloth or other textiles that you can breathe through, and fit securely around the side of your face. Medical grade face masks should be used only in medical settings.

Throughout the UK face coverings are now required by law to be worn in enclosed spaces, such as on public transport, in shops, schools and other public areas. Similar rules may apply in other countries.

See the links below for the UK 4 nations guidance on face coverings:



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