THE prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that England will be entering another national lockdown.
This means that those who are deemed ‘clinically vulnerable’ will be advised to stay at home unless they have a medical appointment.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
The clinically vulnerable have been asked to stay homeCredit: AFP or licensors
Who is classed as clinically vulnerable?
People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people include the following:
- Solid organ transplant recipients
- People with specific cancers including:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- 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 that 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 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- People with problems with their spleen, e.g. splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
- Adults with Down’s syndrome
- Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- Other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions
People who are shielding should avoid going to the supermarkets and pharmaciesCredit: AFP
What further precautions are advised for those in the clinically vulnerable catagory?
If you are shielding, you are advised to stay at home as much as possible.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people should not go to work if they cannot work from home.
People who are shielding are also advised to avoid shops, supermarkets and pharmacies.
If possible, they should see if someone can pick up their shopping and prescriptions, or get them delivered.
Pharmacies will deliver to members of the clinically vulnerable group free of charge.
If needed to go outside, they should avoid all busy areas and keep all contact with others to a minimum.
They can remain in a support bubble, but cannot meet with friends and family that are not a part of it.
Those who fall into the clinically vulnerable category may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
Also, employers may be able to furlough those affected under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021.
What has changed since lockdown two?
The second lockdown was enforced for a month on November 5, 2020.
Most of the rules from the second lockdown will still apply in the third one but there are some differences.
Schools and colleges were allowed to remain open in the second lockdown, but must now move to remote teaching except for vulnerable and key worker kids.
Pubs and takeaways could serve alcohol in the last lockdown, but new rules say that this will not be allowed in the new lockdown.
Also, there were no restrictions on exercise previously, but this time around, Brits can only exercise with one person and as they should be exercising they cannot sit on the bench together.
Here’s a full list of the rules for the third lockdown.