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The pandemic situation is still fluctuating and guidance continues to be amended accordingly; this guidance remains advisory and may need to be changed accordingly.
At present, a vaccine for COVID-19 is not yet available, which means the threat of contracting the virus is still present. This is made more complex by the presence of seemingly asymptomatic spread.
It is important to exercise caution and follow Public Health advice when exiting isolation, particularly if you have been identified as a vulnerable person.
‘Vulnerable people’ are those considered to have lowered immunity and be at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 (and suffering worse health outcomes as a consequence); this includes people:
- aged over 70 years
- with poorly controlled long-term conditions; such as respiratory, heart, kidney, or liver disease
- who are immunosuppressed; for example, those receiving cancer treatment, taking corticosteroids, are on anti-TNF therapy or have poorly controlled HIV/AIDS
- who are part of the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) cohort; recent studies indicate a doubling of risk.
- who have a combination of the factors above
If you do choose to leave your home, it is still recommended that physical distancing, respiratory and hand etiquette be maintained. Masks are also advised in enclosed spaces, such as shops and buses, where physical distancing is not always possible.
Particular care should be taken to minimise contact with others outside your own household or support bubble as far as possible. It will be necessary to report any recent contacts you have made should an unexpected viral outbreak occur; therefore, a limited number of well-known associates is advisable.
Large gatherings should be avoided. You should also avoid any contact with someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of/ change in sense of taste or smell).
Please call 111 if you are showing any symptoms or need advice.
For more information, see covid.gi