In Press Releases, Research News

Shielding updates: 22 June 2020

Lockdown has meant different things for all of us. For some people living with a brain tumour, this has meant little change, except perhaps a ‘welcome to our world’. For others it has meant a step into a space of self-isolation and the challenges that this brings. As the spread of Coronavirus slows, the government is changing its advice again for those who are shielding.

One of the challenges that we all faced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was specific understanding about what we meant by shielding, and how was this different from self-isolation. You can read more about this here.

The shielding guidance applies to anyone who is considered clinically extremely vulnerable, as well as their family, friends and caregivers. With brain cancer, this would be people who are having a course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or who are on a high dose of steroids.

So what is changing?

From 6 July, the advice if you are shielding is changing. Clinically extremely vulnerable people (so those of you who are having a course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or who are on a high dose of steroids) will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people you do not live with, while maintaining social distancing. What does this mean? It means you can join in social activities such as a BBQ, but should observe the social distancing advice, such as not sharing cups and cutlery.

From 6 July

If you are shielding, you can create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household, following the same rules that apply to the public now.

From 1 August

If you are shielding, you can visit shops, places of worship and outdoor spaces. Visit gov.uk to find out what the current guidance is for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

If you are shielding you will be able to return to work if you cannot work at home. If you are concerned about returning to work once the guidance has eased, then you should speak to your employer and understand their specific policies around health and safety and workplace attendance, especially in relation to COVID-19.

This shift for those of you that are shielding is based on the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of those who are shielding in mind. Current statistics show that the rate of catching coronavirus in the community continues to decrease. On average less than 1 in 1,700 in our communities are estimated to have the virus, down from 1 in 500 four weeks ago. Unless advised otherwise by your clinician, you are still in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category and should continue to follow the advice for that category, which can be found here.

Shopping for essential supplies

Priority supermarket delivery slots will continue beyond the end of July for those already signed up for support. And from 1 August, NHS Volunteer Responders will continue to offer support to those who need it, including collecting and delivering food and medicines. If you are vulnerable or at risk and need help with shopping, medication or other essential supplies, then you should call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm).

Check out our Corona Comms hub for all the latest Coronavirus guidance for people with a brain tumour.

And finally – if you have any questions then don’t hesitate to email hello@brainstrust.org.uk or call 01983 292405.