Get the facts on the new coronavirus

Our fact checkers are fighting to protect people from bad information about Covid-19.

Most read fact checks

How you can fact check claims about the new coronavirus

There’s a lot of misinformation about Covid-19, so Full Fact is sharing its top tips on how to check if a claim is true.

What we know, and what we don’t, about the true coronavirus death toll

And why it’s too soon to compare the UK’s with other countries

Has the government really hit 100,000 tests a day, and what happens next?

Full Fact has looked into the reality behind the government’s testing target.

Causes

There is more than one “coronavirus” and they’ve existed for years. There’s no evidence anybody manufactured it deliberately, and it has nothing to do with 5G.
20th Aug 2020

Study doesn’t show that children are ‘silent super-spreaders’ of coronavirus

A study into the quantity of Covid-19 carried by some children does not prove they are ‘silent super-spreaders’.

18th Aug 2020

You cannot catch Legionnaires’ disease from a mask

Legionnaires’ disease is a bacterial infection caught through water.

10th Aug 2020

There is no proof you’re more likely to get Covid-19 if you’re tall

It was widely reported that a survey showed men over six foot tall are more likely to be infected with coronavirus. However, the research does not prove this.

Symptoms

The key symptoms are usually a high temperature and a new, continuous cough. Other symptoms like a runny nose don’t rule it out.
27th May 2020

What did the lockdown rules say when Dominic Cummings travelled to Durham?

Some of his choices were not specifically permitted, and it appears that he did not fully explore the alternatives, as was required.

19th May 2020

Can children transmit the new coronavirus to other people?

The evidence to date suggests that it is uncommon for children to transmit the new coronavirus. Widespread antibody testing is required to fully understand this issue.

15th May 2020

Testing positive for Covid-19 doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get ill

A headline in the Times conflated testing positive with Covid-19 to being “ill” with the disease.

Prevention

There’s no evidence that water or high temperatures will prevent infection, though some are good for your health in general. Washing your hands with soap is best.
16th Oct 2020

Contact tracing has not stopped in schools

Single Covid-19 cases in educational settings are being traced centrally, instead of by local teams

5th Oct 2020

Boris Johnson makes an error about quarantine payments

It is £500 for the whole period of self-isolation, not £500 per week.

30th Sep 2020

Serco didn’t build and does not run the NHS Test and Trace app

Serco has been contracted during the pandemic to assist with facilities management and contact tracing call centres.

Treatment

There’s currently no proven cure for the virus and you should be wary of methods professing to cure it like hot drinks or gargling salt water.
4th Sep 2020

Unlicensed vaccine manufacturers are immune from some, but not all, civil liability

A vaccine manufacturer would still be liable if their unlicensed product was defective.

17th Aug 2020

We don’t know whether “misinformation” killed 800 people

Several news reports based this claim on a scientific paper that provided little evidence in support of the figure

17th Aug 2020

mRNA vaccines are being developed for Covid-19, but they do not change your DNA

mRNA works by instructing cells, not altering DNA.

Lockdown

The UK’s lockdown remains in place and official guidance tells you the rules. Be wary of shocking images online alleging certain groups are flouting the rules.
16th Oct 2020

Contact tracing has not stopped in schools

Single Covid-19 cases in educational settings are being traced centrally, instead of by local teams

7th Oct 2020

What do lockdown restrictions mean for relationships around the UK?

Readers have asked Full Fact to explain how lockdown rules impact their relationships.

5th Oct 2020

Boris Johnson makes an error about quarantine payments

It is £500 for the whole period of self-isolation, not £500 per week.

Statistics

Use sources like NHS England and the ONS for figures on deaths and testing, but be aware they’re not always up-to-date and may not cover all cases so far.
19th Oct 2020

London Mayor candidate wrong to claim Covid-19 pandemic is no worse than a flu season

The number of deaths from Covid-19 far exceeds the number of deaths from flu in a given season, despite the much stricter controls in place.

13th Oct 2020

Flu and Covid-19 statistics are being published in one report, but not added together

They will both now appear in the same weekly document.

12th Oct 2020

Flu and Covid-19 statistics are not being added together

It’s just that they are both now published in the same weekly document.

Viral posts on social media

If you’re not sure, don’t share. Many posts falsely claim to be from the government or NHS, and you can reverse-search photos online to check they’re accurate.
2nd Oct 2020

Challenging someone for not wearing a face mask isn’t against the Equality Act

It has been claimed on social media that challenging someone who is not wearing a face covering could result in a fine.

1st Oct 2020

A Covid-19 diagnostic test won’t pick up other coronaviruses

It’s antibody tests that may detect whether someone had Covid-19 in the past that may pick up antibodies to other coronaviruses, not diagnostic tests.

30th Sep 2020

Serco didn’t build and does not run the NHS Test and Trace app

Serco has been contracted during the pandemic to assist with facilities management and contact tracing call centres.

Ask Full Fact

We've asked readers to send in their questions about the new coronavirus, to help sort the good information from the bad. Check out our answers here.
7th Oct 2020

What do lockdown restrictions mean for relationships around the UK?

Readers have asked Full Fact to explain how lockdown rules impact their relationships.

24th Sep 2020

How does a Covid-19 test work?

The common cold will not produce a positive result on a Covid-19 diagnostic test.

14th Sep 2020

Covid-19 kills far more than 0.1% of the people who catch it

The real death rate from Covid-19 is probably about five or ten times higher than 0.1%

All Covid-19 fact checks

It’s vital that everyone receives clear, factual information about Covid-19. We are working to correct misinformation about the virus.
19th Oct 2020

London Mayor candidate wrong to claim Covid-19 pandemic is no worse than a flu season

The number of deaths from Covid-19 far exceeds the number of deaths from flu in a given season, despite the much stricter controls in place.

16th Oct 2020

Contact tracing has not stopped in schools

Single Covid-19 cases in educational settings are being traced centrally, instead of by local teams

13th Oct 2020

Andy Burnham was wrong about furlough on Question Time

The Mayor of Greater Manchester suggested that staff in closed pubs and bars in Bolton had no access to support.

Thank you

We are grateful to all our donors for supporting us to tackle dangerously false claims during this global crisis.