Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do

Includes information on seeing friends and family and travel.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do


What should I do if there’s a medical emergency and when can I go to my GP?

The NHS remains open for everyone, and you should not delay accessing any help you need during the pandemic.

Your GP and community pharmacy is open, with many GP surgeries offering phone or video consultations to find out what additional help you might need. Contact them first. You can continue to access Primary Care Out of Hours Services by contacting NHS 24 or 111.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call 111 and in any medical or health emergency always call 999.

When will my local hospital restart its usual NHS services?

Health boards are restarting some NHS services that were paused because of COVID-19, including primary and community services, and mental health.

We have published a framework which will allow health boards to prioritise cancer surgery for those most in need of cancer treatment. We plan to restart, where possible, urgent elective surgery previously paused, as well as IVF treatment following the approval of Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

We are also planning to retain COVID-free GP services, including scaling up digital consultations.

Phase 3 will see an expansion of screening services and adult flu vaccinations.

By Phase 4, the full range of health and social care services will be provided with greater use of technology to provide improved services to citizens.

When will my surgery go ahead?

We are considering how we can begin to safely restart NHS services and restart, where possible, urgent electives previously paused. In doing, so we need to achieve a careful balance in managing our healthcare capacity.

When can I go to the dentist or optician?

From 13 July community optometry practices started to further increase their services – especially for emergency and essential eye care. From 13 July dental practices also started to see registered patients for 'non-aerosol' procedures such as a simple check-up, dentures and dental braces, and from 17 August urgent dental care involving aerosols can begin in practices for NHS patients.

First published: 22 Sep 2020 Last updated: 22 Sep 2020 -