Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill. But some people are at a higher risk and need to take extra steps to avoid becoming unwell.


Patients most at risk are called 'shielded' people

This includes people who:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition or are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. We are strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions  which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19), to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. Click here for advice on shielding.​ If you are in this category you will have received a letter or a text message from NHS England asking you to shieled yourself and giving you information on how to register for extra support should you need it.


People at moderate risk

This group includes those who are:

People in this group should be particularly stringent at following social distancing guidelines. You are not eligible for the Government Shielding Support program but there are plenty of local organisations who should be able to help you during this difficult time. 


Current Employment Guidance 

If you are in a very high risk category then you will receive a letter from NHS Business Services or from your hospital specialist department advising that you need to take action (shield). You can show this to your employer and will not need a separate 'sick note'.

  • You can get a self-certification note for seven days from here
  • You can obtain an isolation note from here
  • DWP are currently not requiring fit notes.
  • Self isolation advice is available here

​Further information on the above can be found here and here