Key national information sources
Everyone in England must follow the new national lockdown guidance:
- You must stay at home except when necessary.
- You must not meet socially with anyone that is not part of your household or support bubble.
- Certain businesses and venues have closed.
- Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.
NHS information for people with genetic, rare and undiagnosed conditions that may be at higher than average risk from Covid-19 is here. Please be aware that this includes people affected by a broader range of conditions than those that reduce the effectiveness of our immune system. If you do not know whether you are at higher than average risk from Covid-19, then you need to consult our condition specific guidance, your GP, or your clinical specialist.
Anyone with symptoms can now get a coronavirus test, whatever their age. The full guidance can be found here.
There is guidance here on if you have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed Covid-19 case but you do not live with that person.
NHS Volunteer Responders in England can help with shopping, a prescription collection or a friendly chat. People needing support can self-refer if they think they meet the qualifying criteria. Carers can make a referral for someone they care and for themselves, if this support helps them continue in their caring role. To find out more about the service click here. To self-refer telephone: 0808 196 3646.
If you are extremely clinically vulnerable, you can register here to request for priority access to supermarket deliveries, ask for more information on shielding, and update your personal details. To register, you will need your NHS number.
For support to manage your mental health during this pandemic, you can visit the Every Mind Matters website.
Shielding and Vulnerable People
The full shielding guidance on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable is available here and you should receive a letter from the Government.
If you think there are good clinical reasons why you should or your child should be added to the Shielded Patient List, discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.
The new shielding measures include:
- Stay at home as much as possible and not travel unless essential (for example, to attend health appointments). Try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household.
- You can still go outside for exercise and meet with your support bubble. But keep all contact with others outside of your household to a minimum.
- You are strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work. More information under ‘Working Safely During Coronavirus’.
- Clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people should not attend school or other educational settings. Vulnerable children may still attend school.
- You are advised not to go to shops or pharmacies. Use online shopping, delivery services or ask someone to collect items for you.
- You can still receive informal care at home from people within your support bubble or from professional social care and medical professionals.
Those living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable are not advised to follow shielding measures, but should instead follow the general National Restrictions guidance.
The clinically extremely vulnerable will get priority access to vaccination against Covid-19 before the general population and in line with the priority order. You will be contacted again by the NHS with more information on when and how you will be invited to get the vaccine.
Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow shielding advice. The people you live with should also continue to follow the public health rules even if they have received the vaccine.
Working Safely During Coronavirus
If you are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable, you may want to speak to your employer about making alternative arrangements so you can work from home.
Access to Work provides support for the disability-related extra costs of working at home that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments an employer must provide.
If working from home is not possible, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
You may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
Members of the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home. This is in line with the wider rules in the national lockdown guidance. Information and guidance on a safe working environment for employers and employees during Covid-19 can be found here.
Carers and Parents
Information for Charities
The NCVO has information for charities that may have concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes information on funding, supporting workers and other resources.
Find out about other countries information
General News and updates for England
Updated Covid-19 vaccination priority order
New guidance priorities clinically extremely vulnerable individuals for Covid-19 vaccine.
Who should be prioritised for Covid-19 Vaccine?
Genetic Alliance UK recommends that people with genetic, rare and undiagnosed conditions be prioritised for Covid-19...