Guidance on Social Distancing and Vulnerable people


Advice for Everyone

Everyone (including children) should be staying at home as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus.

The only reason people should leave the house are for these very specific reasons:

  • For basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
  • Outdoors exercise or recreation - this can now be with members of your immediate household or one member of a different household, providing that you adhere to social distancing guidance.;
  • Any form of medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this can not be done at home - advice on how working safely can be found here

If you do leave the house you must maintain a distance of two meters from anyone from a different household. Even if you do not have symptoms of the virus, you can still carry and spread it potentially harming family, friends, and strangers.

You should not be inviting people into your home unless absolutely necessary, and you should only meet one member from a different household at a safe distance outside in a public place.

Please see here for further Government guidance for staying safe when leaving your home

Advice for Vulnerable People

Those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) must be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. It is important to speak to others and ask them to help you to make arrangements for the delivery of food, medicines and essential services and supplies. Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home.

This group includes those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
    • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
    • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • those who are pregnant.


Some people may extremely vulnerable to the virus:

  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

Anyone who falls under this category should have been contacted by the NHS to outline what actions you should take. As an extremely vulnerable person you will be able to get additional support through the Government, which you can apply for here.

If you believe that you should be classed as extremely vulnerable, you should contact your GP.

If you live with a vulnerable person, you can find further advice here.