Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arthritis

21 February 2022
Image of a virus.
Share

Updated: May 2022

We know that with the lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions across the UK it can be an anxious and distressing time for people with existing health conditions who may have been shielding for much of the pandemic.

Read our response to the plan on 'living with COVID' and the coalition we've joined with other charities to demand your concerns are heard.

Please check Government websites for the latest guidance where you live.

If you need any help and support, you'll find more useful links and blogs below.

Who can get free lateral flow tests?

In England, from 1 April 2022 you can still order free lateral flow test kits if:

  • you have a health condition that means you may be able to have antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19
  • your doctor or another healthcare professional has asked you to get a test – for example, before being admitted to hospital
  • you work in certain patient-facing health or social care settings.

In Wales, you can get free lateral flow tests in the same situations as above, but also if:

  • you’re going to visit someone who is eligible for antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19
  • you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • you’ve recently tested positive for COVID-19 and want to check if you’re still testing positive after day 5.

In Scotland free lateral flow tests are available to order if:

  • you're eligible for antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19
  • you're an unpaid carer
  • you are visiting a hospital or care home.

In Northern Ireland, you can order free lateral flow tests if:

  • you're eligible for antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19
  • you work in or visit health or social care settings, or you are an unpaid carer for someone at higher risk from COVID-19
  • your GP or another healthcare professional asks you to take a test
  • you have COVID-19 and want to check if you're still testing positive after day 5.

COVID-19 vaccines and arthritis 

Read the most up-to-date answers to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Our vaccine content now includes more information about the spring booster jabs and vaccines for 5-11 year olds.

COVID-19 - risk factors

If you're being treated for an autoimmune condition it may increase your risk of getting coronavirus. Read the latest information about COVID-19 and the risk factors for people with arthritis.

Looking after yourself

It's important to try to take care of your wellbeing and to look after yourself. We’ve published these articles which include advice to help support you.

Treatments and appointments during COVID-19

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

We are here for you

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, talk to COVA, our COVID-19 virtual assistant, 24/7, or connect with others on our online community.

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to get regular updates on our services, support and our latest coronavirus resources.

Sign up

Support our services

Due to the coronavirus, people living with arthritis are relying on our services and support more than ever.

Donate now