The Government will be sending 1.5 million letters to people in England urging them to go into self-isolation for an extended period.
Health officials now believe that those who are considered to be the most at risk from the disease because they have a health condition should begin “shielding” which means they should now be staying at home.
The Government will be sending the letters out this week which will “strongly advise” people not to leave the house for 12 weeks from Monday.
The Government believe that this group is considered to be the most at risk from COVID-19 because of their health conditions. These people will need to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
• Solid organ transplant recipients
• People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
• People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
• People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
• People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
• People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
• People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
• People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
• People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
• Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Those who are shielding should now avoid the following:
Everyone who is being asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks from the day they receive the letter.
The Government has also announced they will be supporting these people and will collect food and medications for people who are shielding.
Food Parcels that will be delivered to address will be offered free of charge to ensure people who really need it get their supplies as soon as possible.