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.
24th Sep 2020

The government is not planning to roll out an untested Covid-19 vaccine

A government consultation about unlicensed vaccines has been misunderstood online.

14th Sep 2020

People deciding not to get tested will not make it look as though coronavirus has been wiped out

Covid-19’s prevalence in the community is measured by more than the number of positive tests.

4th Sep 2020

Reopening universities will almost certainly not cause 50,000 deaths

This assumes that every student in the UK catches Covid-19 this autumn, and that nothing is done to stop it

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.
24th Sep 2020

This is what the guidelines are for social distancing in parliament.

The guidance includes a maximum number of people in the chamber and remote voting.

17th Sep 2020

There’s no connection between new biometrics legislation and Covid-19 tests

This legislation is to do with biometric data that is of interest to national security.

16th Sep 2020

What do social distancing laws say about ‘mingling’?

Updates to the coronavirus law and guidance place restrictions on certain gatherings.

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.
25th Sep 2020

How quickly is the outbreak growing?

Government scientists warned that new cases could double every week, which some people say is not realistic.

24th Sep 2020

This post comparing deaths in August is a guess

We don’t yet have data on the number of deaths from suicide in August 2020.

24th Sep 2020

There’s no evidence for how many people took part in ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ or later died from Covid-19

A Facebook post makes misleading claims about the survival rates of people eating in restaurants without masks.

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.
25th Sep 2020

People did die of Covid-19 in Ireland in August

A viral post compares the number of deaths from cancer, suicide, alcohol and Covid-19 in Ireland, but it gets a lot wrong.

24th Sep 2020

The government is not planning to roll out an untested Covid-19 vaccine

A government consultation about unlicensed vaccines has been misunderstood online.

24th Sep 2020

Almost all of these claims about viruses are wrong

Posts claiming that viruses are just dead material and the body contains many viruses don’t disprove the fact that Covid-19 can be very harmful.

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.
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%

4th Aug 2020

What are the quarantine rules if you return to the UK from abroad?

Our readers have asked us to explain the guidance around self-isolating if you have visited another country.

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.
25th Sep 2020

How quickly is the outbreak growing?

Government scientists warned that new cases could double every week, which some people say is not realistic.

25th Sep 2020

People did die of Covid-19 in Ireland in August

A viral post compares the number of deaths from cancer, suicide, alcohol and Covid-19 in Ireland, but it gets a lot wrong.

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.

Thank you

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