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
26th Mar 2020

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.

1st May 2020

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

1st May 2020

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.
22nd May 2020

Daily Express diabetes and coronavirus deaths headline is misleading

A quarter of patients who died with Covid-19 in English hospitals had diabetes. But that doesn’t mean that all these deaths were linked to diabetes.

21st May 2020

Animals and the origins of the new coronavirus

It is thought that the new coronavirus originated from bats and was transmitted to humans through another animal.

19th May 2020

These patents are not for the new coronavirus or its vaccine

The patents are for other forms of coronavirus and show no evidence Covid-19 was manufactured.

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.
20th May 2020

Currently, people in independent living housing aren’t automatically eligible for coronavirus testing

Testing for asymptomatic people is currently only available for people in regulated care homes and in the NHS.

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.

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.
20th May 2020

Hydroxychloroquine is not used as a treatment for radiation sickness

There isn’t reliable evidence that the drug cures Covid-19 patients either.

19th May 2020

These patents are not for the new coronavirus or its vaccine

The patents are for other forms of coronavirus and show no evidence Covid-19 was manufactured.

7th May 2020

This post about Covid-19 and blood clotting conditions contains inaccuracies

Some people with severe Covid-19 develop blood clotting problems, but this doesn’t mean that pneumonia is a misdiagnosis.

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.
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.

27th May 2020

50 French schools have closed due to coronavirus cases, but it is likely these infections happened before schools reopened

It is still too early to know the effect of school openings will have on coronavirus cases in France.

21st May 2020

It’s likely that over 100,000 people have entered the UK since the lockdown began

Government estimates on arrivals are opaque, but recent figures suggest 100,000 is an underestimate.

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.
27th May 2020

It is not clear that 19 million people have already had the new coronavirus

New research claiming that this is the case needs taking with a pinch of salt.

22nd May 2020

Daily Express diabetes and coronavirus deaths headline is misleading

A quarter of patients who died with Covid-19 in English hospitals had diabetes. But that doesn’t mean that all these deaths were linked to diabetes.

22nd May 2020

The government says 125,000 workers in care settings and 118,000 care home residents have been tested for Covid-19

In PMQs, Boris Johnson misspoke by saying 125,000 care home staff and 118,000 care home workers have been tested for coronavirus.

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.
27th May 2020

50 French schools have closed due to coronavirus cases, but it is likely these infections happened before schools reopened

It is still too early to know the effect of school openings will have on coronavirus cases in France.

26th May 2020

A 2019 Dominic Cummings blog post was recently edited to explicitly mention a coronavirus

The Wayback Machine website shows the edit being made in mid-April 2020.

21st May 2020

Animals and the origins of the new coronavirus

It is thought that the new coronavirus originated from bats and was transmitted to humans through another animal.

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.
27th May 2020

It is not clear that 19 million people have already had the new coronavirus

New research claiming that this is the case needs taking with a pinch of salt.

20th May 2020

It’s not right that you’re more likely to drown than die of Covid-19 if you’re under 60 with no health problems

It was claimed on Question Time that you are more likely to drown than die of Covid-19 if you are under 60 with no health conditions.

20th May 2020

Currently, people in independent living housing aren’t automatically eligible for coronavirus testing

Testing for asymptomatic people is currently only available for people in regulated care homes and in the NHS.

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.
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.

27th May 2020

50 French schools have closed due to coronavirus cases, but it is likely these infections happened before schools reopened

It is still too early to know the effect of school openings will have on coronavirus cases in France.

27th May 2020

It is not clear that 19 million people have already had the new coronavirus

New research claiming that this is the case needs taking with a pinch of salt.

Thank you

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