The government will tomorrow air its first TV adverts as part of the public awareness campaign on the coronavirus pandemic.

The adverts are a ramping up of ministers’ efforts to inform Britons about how they should respond to coronavirus.

They build upon existing adverts already on radio, online and on billboards.

In the 40-second TV adverts, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty explains the government’s latest advice for those who suspect they might be infected.

The advice is:

  • Individuals should self-isolate for seven days from the onset of a high temperature or a new and persistent cough;
  • Any individuals in the same household should self-isolate for 14 days from that moment as well;
  • If other members of the household develop symptoms, however mild, at any time during the 14 days they must not leave the home for seven days from when symptoms started;
  • Don’t go to the GP or hospital, but instead check your symptoms at and follow the advice;Only call the NHS 111 helpline if you can’t get online or your symptoms worsen.

In the adverts, Prof Whitty says: “It’s important we all protect older people and those with existing health conditions from coronavirus.”

Actor Mark Strong also features and tells Britons to “protect yourself, protect others, protect the NHS”.

On Monday, the prime minister ordered Britons to avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres and to only make essential journeys, as part of social distancing measures.

On Wednesday, the government announced it was rapidly increasing the number of coronavirus tests.

As many as 25,000 people within NHS hospitals will be tested for coronavirus every day.

Thirty-two more people have died in England after testing positive for coronavirus – taking the total number of UK deaths to 104.

It follows the biggest daily leap in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK after 676 infections were diagnosed in the last 24 hours.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK now stands at 2,626.

The prime minister also called on companies to work with the government to rapidly develop a test to establish whether people have developed immunity, in order to help get NHS staff back to work as quickly as possible.

The World Health Organisation recently criticised national governments for not conducting enough tests on their populations.

In new laws to be introduced to the House of Commons this week, the government is also seeking widespread powers to tackle the public health crisis caused by COVID-19 – the prevalent strain of coronavirus.

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