Posted on 25th March, 2020

COVID-19 – Isolation and Risk Groups

Isolation Periods and high-risk and vulnerable groups

Please see below latest government guidance regarding COVID-19, this supersedes any previous communication given.



  1. IF Symptomatic – 7 days isolation at home, return to work when fit. Symptoms are defined as fever of 37.8 degrees C or above and/or the sudden onset of a persistent cough
  2. IF living in same house as someone presenting symptoms – 14 days isolation from day of first symptom.
  3. Returning from any holiday outside of the UK – 7 days off work isolation, work from home if possible.
  4. Vulnerable population – ‘Strongly advised’ 12 weeks isolation.
  5. High Risk population – Strict 12 weeks isolation period.


High Risk Population

You are deemed ‘high risk’ as per the government’s guidance if you:

  • are 70 years of age and over
  • have a long-term medical condition – for example, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure
  • have a weak immune system (immunosuppressed).
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

There are many things that can cause a weak immune system (immunosuppressed). These include:

  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • treatment for autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS) and inflammatory bowel diseases
  • HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication


Vulnerable Population

You are deemed ‘vulnerable’ as per the government’s guidance if you are under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • being seriously overweight
  • those who are pregnant


Published – 19/03/2020

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