Please be aware that some of the guidance may have changed since we wrote this blog. Read our coronavirus information for details of the current guidance.
It is Lynne and Emma, specialist pancreatic cancer nurses. Last week we discussed the upcoming easing of restrictions for those individuals who have been shielding. As the lockdown restrictions ease the advice on social distancing is changing in England – these changes come into effect on the 4th July. Changes are also happening in the other nations – this blog will explain the easing of restrictions from around the UK.
Social distancing was put in place to reduce the risk of you catching coronavirus. Please be assured that the government’s advice reflects the latest evidence that the risk of catching coronavirus has reduced. This new guidance is going to be monitored as the restrictions are eased. It may be that if the situation looks to be changing, the government advice on restrictions will need to change in line with this. We will continue to keep you up to date with changes as they develop. For the most up to date information on coronavirus please visit the government website.
Following the new guidelines will help to keep you and your loved ones safe.
What are the changes in England?
If it is some time since you had treatment such as chemotherapy or surgery you are at less risk of becoming seriously unwell if you get coronavirus. You will need to follow general guidance for those not at higher risk and not shielding.
- Social distancing should be 2m (metres), or it can be 1m if other measures are in place – such as a screen partition, people facing away from each other (you should try to sit side to side with others rather than face to face) or there being hand washing facilities. This will depend on the environment, for example on public transport 2 metre isn’t always possible so a face mask must be worn.
- Guidance is that the fewer social contacts you have, the safer you will be. So try to limit the interactions you have, especially over short periods of time.
- Two households can now meet in any setting, outside or inside. It does not need to be the same two households each time, and your support bubble counts as one household. You must maintain social distancing guidelines with people you don’t live with or aren’t in a support bubble with, at all times.
- You can stay overnight in another home with members of one other household.
- If you are outside, you can meet in groups of up to 6 people, following social distancing.
- Some businesses and venues are opening again, such as restaurants and bars, hotels, campsites and outdoor playgrounds. But the guidance is the same as above, you can only go there with one other household.
- If anyone in your household, or support bubble, gets symptoms of coronavirus, everyone must stay home and self-isolate.
- If someone in your support bubble is contacted as part of the test-and-trace programme, that person needs to stay home if they don’t have symptoms.
- You should still avoid public transport where possible, and if you do need to use it, you should wear a mask.
- You shouldn’t get in a car with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.
- If you can work from home you should continue to do so. If your workplace is open, your employer must have followed guidelines to help protect their employees, and there is specific guidelines for people in higher risk groups and those who are shielding.
- Guidance recommends that if you are meeting with others you should wash your clothes more regularly, as there is some evidence that the virus can stay on fabrics for a few days.
- Read more on the GOV.UK website.
If you are someone who is in the higher risk group (have diabetes, over 70, had your spleen removed, or have a lowered immune system) you must follow the above guidelines, being particularly careful when meeting people outside of your household. Ensure you carefully follow social distancing and excellent hand washing practices.
What are the changes in Northern Ireland?
- You can meet up to 9 people outdoors who aren’t in your household but must practice social distancing.
- You can meet up to 5 people indoors but you must practice social distancing (2 metres), face masks are advised, and you are advised to keep these visits shorter and practice good hand hygiene.
- You are not allowed overnight stays.
- There is no change to the guidance regarding support bubbles.
- Non-essential shops are open.
- Restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs are open from the 3rd July with table service only, or outside.
- You are advised to continue to work from home where possible. If you can’t work from home, social distancing should be followed in the workplace.
- You are strongly advised to wear a face mask in enclosed places like public transport and shops.
- Read more on the Public Health Agency website.
What are the changes in Scotland?
- You should stay indoors as much as possible.
- You are allowed to exercise or take part in other outdoor activities alone or with members of up to 2 other households at a time. This includes sitting outdoors or going for a walk.
- You should always be at least 2 metres apart from anyone who isn’t a member of your household – or your extended household. There shouldn’t be more than 8 people at a time.
- You should only go inside someone’s home if you need to access their garden, or use the toilet – in both cases you should avoid touching surfaces and wash hands thoroughly.
- Aim to stay within 5 miles of your home.
- Work from home if you can. If your workplace is open, it must be able to follow the 2m social distancing and other guidance.
- Face masks must be worn on public transport, unless you have a health condition where you can’t wear a mask.
- Read more on the Scottish government website.
What are the changes in Wales?
- You must stay indoors as much as possible and not meet indoors with people outside of your household.
- Members of two households can meet outdoors but you must practice social distancing – which is 2 metres – this doesn’t need to be the same household each time, there is no limit to the number of people.
- Aim to remain within 5 miles of your home.
- You can carry out outdoor activities such as tennis, golf, and angling but no team sports are allowed.
- Non-essential shops are open but only if they are complying with social distancing rules.
- Bars, restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities are still closed.
- Guidance is for you to work from home if possible. If you need to go to work, your employer must take precautions to protect you from coronavirus, such as social distancing.
- Read more on the Welsh government website.
The staying local requirements in Wales may be lifted on 6th July. Any changes to the re-opening of other areas will be made on or around the 9th July. For up to date guidance in Wales see government website.
We are here for you
If you have any concerns about your treatment, or questions about pancreatic cancer or coronavirus, you can of course speak to one of our nurse specialists on the Support Line. You can get in touch via email at email@example.com or pick up the phone and call them on 0808 801 0707
Thanks for reading our blog, we hope you’ve found it useful; we know things are tough at the moment but stay safe.