In this section you can find out more about covid-19, the symptoms, how to order a test and when to isolate.
What is covid-19 (coronavirus)?
Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Coronavirus (COVID‑19) is spreading fast. 1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms, so you could be spreading it without knowing it.
Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the UK - read the guidance on what you can and cannot do.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
Get help at:
Call 999 if you feel very unwell or think there’s something seriously wrong.Get a free PCR test
When to self-isolate?
How do I order a test?
The 2 main tests are:
Both tests are free.
Get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms:
You and anyone you live with should stay at home until you get your test result. Only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your childcare or support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
Anyone in England can now get regular rapid lateral flow tests without having symptoms.
About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Getting regular tests is the only way to know if you have the virus.
If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.
Confirming a previous test result
Get a PCR test as soon as possible if:
If you have symptoms, stay at home until you get the result of the 2nd test.Get a free PCR test Get regular rapid coronavirus tests
Health & safety
Keeping you healthy and safe at work is a top priority and never more important as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
We carry out joint health & safety inspections and have supported special covid-19 risk assessments too.
We've created an online learning suite for our reps to help them in undertaking these assessments.
If there are aspects of your workplace environment that concern you, or if you are worried for your safety, please call our helpline on 0118 934 1808. We have a team of officers ready, willing, and able to advise and support you. We continue to have regular meetings with employers to ensure safety remains top priority.Visit our health & safety rep training
We keep members up to date through our regular communications, but if you have an urgent issue, please call our helpline on 0118 934 1808. We have a team of officers ready, willing, and able to advise you.
We've also produced some guidance on homeworking.
Read the statement published by the Financial Conduct Authority on support for frontline bank workers (published 28/01/2021)
Long Covid & absences
Long Covid is an issue of concern for the union movement as ONS data has revealed that 1 in 5 people who’ve tested positively for Covid-19 have had symptoms that have lasted for 5 weeks or longer and that 1 in 10 have had symptoms for 12 weeks or longer.
Long Covid, or post-Covid-19 syndrome is the lasting symptoms that people feel or have after the infection has gone. The lasting symptoms can include:
You can find more information on the long-term impacts of Covid-19 on the NHS website. We've also got more specific guidance on long covid in our help centre.Find out about long covid support