COVID-19: guidance for health professionals

Information on COVID-19, including guidance on the assessment and management of suspected UK cases.

See Information for the public (updated daily).

Updates also available on the reported outbreak of COVID-19.

Guidance for non-clinical settings.

On 11 February 2020, the WHO announced that the disease would now be referred to as COVID-19, and that the new virus was now named SARS-CoV-2.


COVID-19 is classified as an airborne high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK.

Sampling and diagnostics

News and announcements

Public health matters, the official blog of PHE, provides additional information on Novel coronavirus.

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed by the People’s Republic of China of cases of pneumonia of unknown microbial aetiology associated with Hubei Province, central China.

On 9 January 2020, WHO announced that a novel coronavirus had been detected in patient samples in Wuhan.

On 30 January 2020, the WHO Emergency Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Published 10 January 2020
Last updated 8 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added interim guidance for first responders.

  2. Added new and updated sampling and laboratory guidance.

  3. Added guidance for first responders.

  4. Added guidance for healthcare providers with staff who have travelled to China

  5. Added guidance to assist professionals to advise the public.

  6. Updated terminology for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

  7. Added guidance on self isolation for patients undergoing testing.

  8. Added link to WN-CoV laboratory request form (E28).

  9. Added links to news stories and blog.

  10. Added WN-CoV: interim guidance for primary care.

  11. Added 'Background information' document.

  12. Added information on diagnostic laboratories, and updated guidance on case definitions and infection prevention and control.

  13. First published.