Last updated: May 2022
We will update this page whenever we have new information. Please also keep an eye on the NHS website which is regularly updated.
If you are looking for information about the coronavirus vaccines, please have a look at our dedicated vaccines page.
On Thursday 24 February 2022, the government announced that in England all remaining domestic restrictions will be removed. This is outlined in the government publication ‘Living with COVID’.
As there are still cases of COVID-19 in England, there continues to be a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated. This means it’s important you understand and consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19 in all situations. The government is continuing to advise safer behaviours that can be adopted to reduce the risk of infection, in line with longstanding ways of managing most other respiratory illnesses. Precautions are still particularly important to those who are at higher risk if they catch COVID-19, but because of advances in vaccination and therapeutics, this group is now better protected. Most people previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable are now advised to follow the same general guidance as everyone else, because of the protection they have received from vaccination.
Individuals can still reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19 by:
a. getting vaccinated
b. letting fresh air in, if meeting indoors, or meeting outside
c. wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where you come into close contact with people you don’t usually meet, and when rates of transmission are high
d. staying at home if you are unwell.
e. taking a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms, and staying at home and avoiding contact with other people if you test positive
f. washing your hands, and following advice to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.
You can find out more here:
Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread
COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Am I vulnerable to COVID-19?
Some people living with a muscle-wasting condition were previously classed as ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ (CEV). If you were identified as someone who is CEV, you would have received a letter or email and been advised to shield earlier in the pandemic. There is no longer separate guidance for people who were previously CEV. The government have advised that most people who were CEV are no longer at substantially greater risk than the general population and are advised to follow the same guidance as everyone else. If you have not already, you are advised to get vaccinated and get a booster vaccine when offered.
There is a smaller group of people who remain at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 due to a weakened immune system (immunosuppressed). This group are being offered enhanced protections, such as specific treatments and/or additional vaccinations, alongside other protective behaviours. For information on this, please see our Vaccines or Community-based treatment pages.
You can find out more here:
COVID-19: guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you have any questions about your individual condition, you should speak with your neuromuscular team.
You may wish to have one of our alert or symptoms cards to hand, which can help you in times of an emergency.
Guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19
Guidance relating to coronavirus is different across the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Get vaccinated against COVID-19 – everyone ages 5 and over can book vaccination appointments.
Open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside. Meet people outside if possible.
Remember the basics of good hygiene. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day and clean your surroundings.
Consider wearing a face covering or face mask when it's hard to stay away from other people (particularly indoors or in crowded places).
The government will continue to assess the situation and the risks posed by COVID-19 and based on clinical advice, will respond accordingly to keep the most vulnerable people safe.
As a minimum, you should continue to follow the same guidance on staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19. You should consider advice from your specialist team on whether additional precautions are right for you. However, as someone with a health condition, you may want to consider if additional precautions are right for you.
There is different guidance available for people living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
To stay up to date with the latest advice in your region please follow the relevant links below.
Wales - https://gov.wales/coronavirus
Scotland – https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/
Northern Ireland - https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-and-guidance-what-they-mean-you
We understand that these are difficult times, and you may be experiencing distress and concern. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious, and you require support with your mental health, please book a GP appointment or contact:
Samaritans - 116 123 (every day: 24 hours)
Give us a shout - text 85258 (24-hour text service)
British Red Cross - 0808 196 3651 (every day: 10am - 6pm)
You can also find further information on the NHS website.
There is no longer a legal requirement to work from home. However, employers have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and others from risks to their health and safety. Your employer should be able to explain to you the measures they have in place to keep you safe at work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have replaced COVID-19 restrictions with public health advice. Employers are no longer required to have specific measures in place.
If you need support to work at home or in the workplace you can apply for Access to Work. Access to Work may provide support for the disability-related extra costs of working that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments an employer must provide. Access to Work should prioritise applications from disabled people who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group.
You may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or Employment and Support Allowance if you are sick or incapable of work, because of coronavirus or other health reasons, subject to meeting the eligibility conditions.
Kidney Care UK have put together some helpful guidance for people who are immunosuppressed and at a higher risk of illness from COVID-19, on how to talk to your employer about keeping safe in the workplace. You can refer to the following webpage for further information: Safe At Work downloadable letter for UK employers | Kidney Care UK | Kidney Care UK