Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arthritis - where to go for information

Last updated: 06-05-2020

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arthritis - where to go for information

2 June 2020 - our information has been updated to reflect the changes to guidance for those shielding in England and Wales.

Whether you’re self-isolating at home, supporting loved ones or caring for those in the community, we’ll continue to stand by, support and speak up for people living with arthritis.

We're here for you at any time. Call our free Helpline on 0800 5200 520, or email helpline@versusarthritis.org (Mon-Fri 9am – 8pm), talk to COVA, our COVID-19 virtual assistant, 24/7, by following the purple circular icon at the bottom of this page, or connect with others on our online community.

On 31 May, the guidance for those shielding in England and Wales was revised. The new guidelines say that those who are in the shielding group can start to spend time outdoors.

The UK Government has updated its guidance for those people who are shielding because COVID-19 infection levels are substantially lower than when shielding was first introduced.

In England, if you are in the shielding group, you are now allowed to exercise once a day outside your home by yourself, with a member of your household, or, if you live alone, you are now allowed to meet one person from another household, as long as social distancing is maintained (keeping two metres apart). Read more on the Gov.UK website.

In Wales, the official guidance goes a bit further and says that those who are shielding can take unlimited exercise outside and meet people from another household, as long as social distancing is maintained (keeping two metres apart). This guidance also recommends not going into another person’s house or sharing food with them. Read our COVID-19 advice - Wales.  

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, shielding advice remains unchanged. We are continuing to monitor Government announcements from each nation and will provide updates as more information becomes available. Read our COVID-19 advice forScotland and Northern Ireland.

We’ve heard from many people who are concerned that there is still a risk to their health.

Shielding guidance is just advice, meaning you can choose how to follow it. If you are worried or uncomfortable about going outside, it may help to speak to a member of your healthcare team, such as your GP or rheumatologist about your situation.

Find out more about assessing your risk and how to protect yourself.

We’re working with the NHS, health professional organisations and charities to ensure we’re getting the latest information and resources to you.

Updated information can be found on the Gov.UK website. For more information on the devolved nations approach to COVID-19, click on the links below.


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