Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arthritis

22 October 2020
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21 October

We’ll be continually reviewing this content as the COVID-19 situation evolves across the UK and guidance changes over time. Therefore, it’s important to check this page regularly for updates.  

Latest updates

Our information has been updated to reflect the restrictions introduced in Northern Ireland, England and the announcement of the the circuit breaker lockdown in Wales from 23 October. Read the latest COVID-19 advice for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Shielding and protecting the most vulnerable

If you're being treated for an autoimmune condition it may increase your risk of getting coronavirus. At the height of the pandemic you may have been advised to shield or self-isolate to protect yourself.

Restrictions on shielding have now been paused in the UK, but the advice varies across the nations - please check the Government's guidance for 'clinically extremely vulnerable' people for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

With the most recent announcements of alert levels for England, you can find out the alert level for your area.

If there’s different advice for your specific area, your local council website should have details. Find your local council on the GOV.UK website.

We're continuing to monitor Government announcements from each nation and will provide updates as more information becomes available. 

Should I be shielding?

Shielding continues to be paused across all four nations of the UK, with people being asked to follow the local guidance in place.

However, further restrictions may be brought in for areas of ‘very high risk’, based on information from the Chief Medical Officer. 

If you were originally asked to shield, you will receive a letter with local advice for how to further protect yourself, and the support available to you.

For more information read Arthritis and COVID-19 - what are the risks?

Preparing for surgery

Learn more about preparing for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, including what to expect before, on the day and after an operation.

Find out more about updating waiting lists for surgery (England only) and read tips to help you stay in good shape for your surgery when the times comes.

Information and resources

Looking after yourself

Current advice for people with arthritis recommends that you should wash your hands regularly, practice socially distancing and stay at home as much as possible.

It's important to try to keep active, eat healthy and take care of your wellbeing. We’ve published these articles which include advice to help support you.

We're here for you

Whether you’re self-isolating at home, supporting loved ones or caring for those in the community, we’ll continue to stand by, support and speak up for people living with arthritis.

Call our free Helpline on 0800 5200 520, or email helpline@versusarthritis.org (Mon-Fri 9am – 8pm), talk to COVA, our COVID-19 virtual assistant, 24/7, or connect with others on our online community.

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