What to do if you have COVID-19

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 (coronavirus). But many of the symptoms of COVID-19 can be treated at home. About 80% of people can recover at home and without needing to go to hospital.

The most important thing you can do is to protect others from catching COVID-19. It is especially important to protect people at higher risk from COVID-19 .

You should:

  • self-isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms or positive test (this is 7 days if you have had your COVID vaccine booster or have had a previous COVID infection within 3 months)

  • get lots of rest and sleep.

  • drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Your pee should be light yellow or clear

  • eat healthily

  • avoid smoking

  • keep warm

  • monitor and treat your symptoms

Symptoms you might experience:

If your symptoms get worse:

Phone us (021) 4870808 if your symptoms are getting worse and you are concerned.

Particularly pay attention to your breathing and contact us if you and becoming more short of breath.

If you are over the age of 60 or have a condition that puts you at higher risk from COVID-19 , keep a close eye on your symptoms. Phone us straight away if they get worse.

​​Read about when to get medical help if you need it.

Medicines to treat symptoms

The best medicines to use will depend on your:

  • symptoms

  • other medical conditions

  • any other medication you're taking

Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains. Paracetamol is usually recommended as the first-line of treatment for most people.

Before taking any medication, read the full package leaflet that comes with your medicine. Follow any advice a healthcare professional gives you.

Antibiotics do not work against COVID-19 or any viruses. They will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

COVID-19 is a virus and antibiotics cannot treat viruses.


It is okay to take ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories (NSAID) if you have COVID-19 . There is no evidence that they are unsafe.

Only take one anti-inflammatory medication at a time. It is okay to take paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory at the same time.

Anti-inflammatory medicines include:

  • ibuprofen - brand names: Nurofen, Actiprofen, Advil, Brufen, Brupro, Buplex, Easofen, and Fenopine. Ibuprofen gel can be called Nurofen, Melfen, Phorpain, Ibugel and Ibuleve

  • naproxen – brand name: Naprosyn

  • diclofenac – brand names: Voltarol, Diclo, Diclac, Cataflam, Difene and Flector