Coronavirus: information and updates

Coronavirus health guidelines and risk

Coronavirus is more dangerous if you have certain health conditions. Find out how the government and NHS guidelines apply to you if you have health conditions or rely on others for support.

Warning If you’re in local lockdown

Rules may be different in your area.

Check GOV.UK


Call our helpline


To protect yourself and others, do not leave your home if you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms. The NHS calls this ‘self-isolating’. 

Stay at home for at least:

  • 10 days if you have symptoms
  • 14 days if someone you live with has symptoms

Call 111 if you’re worried about symptoms or other health conditions that may put you at a higher risk.

Check if you have coronavirus symptoms (NHS)

People at higher risk

Your symptoms may be more serious if you get coronavirus if you are over 70, pregnant or have:

  • a lung condition like asthma, emphysema or bronchitis
  • conditions that affect the brain and nerves like Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • a heart problem
  • a kidney or liver disease
  • a spleen problem like sickle cell disease
  • a weakened immune system because of conditions, such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines like steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or above (obese)

You must be strict with following social distancing guidelines if you're in the higher risk group.

Contact your GP or healthcare team if your condition is not listed and you’re worried about your risk.

Advice for people at higher risk (NHS)

People who are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus

Coronavirus is more dangerous if you have a serious condition. You’re considered extremely vulnerable if you:

  • have a serious lung condition like cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition or are taking medicine where you’re more likely to get infections
  • have had an organ transplant
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer or are having certain cancer treatment
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

Definition of clinically extremely vulnerable (GOV.UK)

Warning The NHS should have contacted you

You should have received a letter or phone call if you’re considered extremely vulnerable.

Contact your GP or the NHS if you’re worried about your risk.

NHS 111 Online


The government has changed the rules for people in England who are ‘shielding’ and staying home. The guidance may change if more people get coronavirus again.

You will still be ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to coronavirus so keep checking government advice.

Shielding advice in England

  • The government no longer advises shielding, but you should still follow strict social distancing.
  • You can do activities like going to shops, places of worship or exercising.
  • Government food and medicine boxes have stopped but you can still get support from NHS volunteers and local authorities.
  • You will still have access to priority supermarket delivery slots.
  • You can go to work if you cannot work from home, as long as the workplace is following the guidance and is ‘coronavirus-safe’.

If you feel uncertain about returning to work, speak to your employer to find out their policies on coronavirus changes. Agree a plan for returning to work, including any adjustments you need.

If you are concerned about the support you get, contact your local authority.

Contact your local authority (GOV.UK)

Updated shielding guidance (GOV.UK)

Shielding advice in Wales

Shielding advice is different in Wales.

Coronavirus shielding guidance (

Getting essentials

If you do not feel safe going to shops or you cannot get supermarket food deliveries, there are alternative companies you can get essentials from.

Getting food and essentials

Or you can ask someone to drop off food, supplies and medication to you, such as:

  • family members
  • friends or people in your community
  • carers or community organisations
  • voluntary organisations

Finding volunteers to help with essentials 

If you live in Wales and do not have anyone to help you, contact your local authority for support and to apply for a free weekly food box.

Help for the vulnerable from local authorities and voluntary groups (

Last reviewed by Scope on: 07/07/2020

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