Coming out of Lockdown - Guidance
As the UK eases out of lockdown, here's the latest advice from SRUK on what to consider in your work, and social environments.
As the UK eases out of lockdown, it is understandable that many of you may be unsure about how to keep safe as the restrictions ease. Although the legal restrictions caused by COVID have ended, this virus has not gone away, therefore it is important to act sensibly and safely.
How to Keep Safe
The key to keeping safe is assessing your personal level of risk. This includes factors such as:
- Have you had both vaccines?
- Are you considered clinically extremely vulnerable?
- Have you had, and recovered from COVID?
- What are the infection rates like in the area you live / travel to?
Not everyone’s level of risk is the same, so decisions on how to act now that lockdown is easing are very personal. Accepting both vaccinations as soon as you are able reduces your risk – for more information see our vaccines FAQ. If you have caught and recovered from COVID previously you will have built up a little more immunity to a repeat infection. We recommend keeping an eye on the infection rates in your area, and adjusting your behaviour based on the risk. For more detailed advice, please read this document ‘Making decisions about keeping safe after 19th July.’
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Continuing to socially isolate from the 19th July is not essential, and in some cases may be more damaging to a persons mental and physical health, however caution should be exercised due to the high transmission rates of the delta variant of Covid-19. The key is making sure that you can meet up with other people more safely.
Shielding is no longer mandatory in any of the UK four nations.
From the 19th of July, all lockdown measures ended, meaning the legal requirement to social distance has ended. However, if you feel that you want to continue to socially distance and wear a face covering, these measures will lower your risk of catching and transmitting the virus.
This removal of restrictions also means that groups of any size can meet, indoors or outdoors. If you are feeling uncertain about your safety in a large group, or in an enclosed space, keep your social activities to a small group of friends and family. Take advantage of the UK summer and meet outside where possible, or in well ventilated indoor spaces. Making sure your social circle have had both their vaccines and received the second dose at least 14 days ago significantly reduces the risk of infection.
From the 19th July, the rules in workplaces changed. Social distancing and face coverings are no longer required. Additionally, you may be asked to return to the workplace, if you were previously working from home. Although restrictions have ended employers still have a duty of care to keep their employees safe, therefore if you are at an increased risk of COVID, it is important to have a conversation about measures that can be taken to suit your needs.
SRUK as part of a coalition of charities have written a ‘Letter to Employers’ which outlines the continued risk of COVID to immunocompromised individuals, and how employers can keep their workforce safe. This letter is designed to be sent from any individual to their employer. In addition, SRUK have written an email which can be sent in addition, outlining the specific risk to people with scleroderma. This is available on request from email@example.com.
- Letter to Employer, Individuals who have reduced protection from vaccination