Coronavirus: information and updates

Coronavirus health guidelines and risk

Coronavirus is more dangerous if you have certain health conditions.

Find out how the government guidelines apply to you if you have health conditions or rely on others for support.

Coronavirus guidance (GOV.UK)

Warning Restrictions where you live

Social distancing guidelines

Updated government guidelines for most people in England.

Social distancing (GOV.UK)

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do (GOV.UK)

The Welsh Government updated guidelines for everyone in Wales.

Social distancing guidance in Wales (


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’. 

How long to self-isolate (NHS) 

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)

Self-isolating is a legal requirement. You could be fined if you do not stay at home after:

  • a positive coronavirus test result
  • or NHS Test and Trace tells you to self-isolate because someone you’ve been in contact with has tested positive

Legal requirements for self-isolation (GOV.UK)

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


In England, check the latest government advice.

General advice for people extremely vulnerable people to coronavirus (GOV.UK) 

If you are on the government shielding list, you should still have priority for supermarket delivery slots. 

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 other ways to get essentials.

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.

Help for the vulnerable from local authorities and voluntary groups (

Getting food and essential supplies during the coronavirus pandemic (

Last reviewed by Scope on: 05/01/2021

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