Public Health guidance
Everyone should continue to follow
Public Health guidance. This is particularly important for those at higher risk.
Those at higher risk are strongly encouraged to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination, as well as any booster vaccinations when these are offered. Choosing to take up the flu vaccine when this is available will also ensure those at higher risk remain fit and well.
While choosing to be vaccinated is a personal decision, those at higher risk may choose to encourage friends and family they spend time with to be vaccinated, as this will ensure added protection.
Book your vaccination appointment
Third booster dose vaccinations
Following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, we will be offering a third booster dose of the vaccine to Islanders who are more at risk of serious disease from COVID, which includes those who were vaccinated in the early stages of the vaccination programme.
Check when you can book your third dose
A third booster dose of the vaccine should only be given 6 months after you've received your second dose. Islanders will be offered the Pfizer vaccine as a third dose, regardless of which vaccine brand you have received for your primary doses. This follows data from studies that indicates the Pfizer vaccine is well tolerated as a third dose and provides a strong booster response.
Third dose for severely immunocompromised people
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that people over the age of 12 with severely weakened immune systems should have a third vaccine dose as part of their primary COVID-19 vaccination schedule.
JVCI advice and list of who can receive a third dose on gov.uk
People who need a third dose are those who had a severely weakened immune system around the time they had their first 2 doses. This includes those who had or have:
- blood cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
- lowered immunity due to treatment (such as steroid medication, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
- lowered immunity due to inherited disorders of the immune system
- an organ or bone marrow transplant
- diseases that affect the immune system such as poorly controlled HIV
- other diseases or treatments as advised by your specialist
We are working with GPs and specialist teams to contact people who are severely immunosuppressed. The Vaccination Team will be in touch with you to arrange your third dose.
This offer is separate to any potential booster programme.
Clinically extremely vulnerable (high risk or severely vulnerable)
If you are in one of the categories below, you should have received a letter from your GP or specialist doctor explaining that you are considered at high risk of severe illness as a result of COVID-19 and more likely to need hospital treatment if you're infected. If after looking at this list, you feel you fall within the high risk category, but have not received a letter, contact your local GP surgery and ask for further advice.
Factors that mean someone is at high risk (severely vulnerable) are:
solid organ transplant recipients
people with specific cancers or receiving certain cancer treatments:
people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell)
people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
adults with Down's Syndrome
adults with kidney dialysis or stage 5 kidney disease
Clinically at risk (moderate risk or vulnerable)
For people of older ages, and for people with certain medical conditions, there are additional risks if you become infected with COVID-19. Factors that put someone in the moderate risk (vulnerable) category include:
people with less severe respiratory conditions, including: Individuals with a severe lung conditions, including those with asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including chronic bronchitis and emphysema; bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung fibrosis, pneumoconiosis and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
- people with chronic heart disease, such as heart failure, including: Congenital heart disease, hypertension with cardiac complications, chronic heart failure, individuals requiring regular medication and/or follow-up for ischaemic heart disease. This includes individuals with atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease or a history of venous thromboembolism.
- people with chronic kidney disease, such as kidney failure (stage 3 or 4)
people with chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis, Cirrhosis and biliary atresia
stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA). Conditions in which respiratory function may be compromised due to neurological disease (e.g. polio syndrome sufferers). This includes individuals with cerebral palsy, severe or profound learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and related or similar conditions; or hereditary and degenerative disease of the nervous system or muscles; or severe neurological disability.
any diabetes, including diet-controlled diabetes
HIV infection at all stages
anyone with a history of haematological malignancy, including leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma and those with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments
individuals being treated with systemic steroids for more than a month
individuals who are receiving immunosuppressive or immunomodulating biological therapy including: but not limited to, anti-TNF, alemtuzumab, ofatumumab, rituximab, patients receiving protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors, and individuals treated with steroid sparing agents such as cyclophosphamide and mycophenolate mofetil.
all bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients
people with problems with their spleen, for example, if you have sickle cell disease or have had your spleen removed dysfunction of the spleen: This also includes conditions that may lead to splenic dysfunction, such as homozygous sickle cell disease, thalassemia major and coeliac syndrome
people who are seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
severe mental illness: Individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment.
adult carers: Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings
The way people are affected by the virus varies largely across different individuals. In terms of age, the impact will likely be most linked to level of frailty, strength of immunity and the presence of underlying conditions and ill-health, rather than a person's exact age as a number alone. Individuals should see the risk as higher the older they are, but also be aware that this can vary from person to person.
Higher and lower risk activities
The below guidance sets out the principles that determine whether an activity is higher or lower risk. These principles also apply to children and young people who are at higher risk.
Those at higher risk are encouraged to engage in lower risk activities and avoid higher risk activities wherever possible, and where this does not impact on them negatively, for example on their overall health and wellbeing.
|Activities with people you don't live with are higher risk. The larger the number of different people you encounter and spend time with, the higher the risk. Larger gatherings and events are higher risk.||Activities done on your own or with people you live with are lower risk. If you're going to spend time with people you don't live with, the smaller the number of people, the lower the risk.|
|Activities where you may be less able to follow physical distancing guidance are higher risk.
This becomes higher risk still if the time spent not following physical distancing guidance is longer than 15 minutes.
|Activities where you can follow physical distancing guidelines are lower risk.
If you can't follow physical distancing guidance, the risk is lowered if the time spent not physically distancing is limited to less than 15 minutes.
|Not wearing a face mask increases risk, especially when you can't follow physical distancing.
||Wearing a face mask reduces risk, especially when you can't follow physical distancing.|
|Activities that are indoors are higher risk.|
Indoor activities where there is poor ventilation are higher risk. Opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate lowers risk.
Activities that are outdoors are lower risk. If activities are indoors, opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate lowers risk.
|Activities associated with increased production of respiratory droplets, such as singing, shouting, coughing or breathing heavily are higher risk, when done amongst a group of people.||Activities associated with less respiratory droplet production, such as normal speech, are lower risk.|
|Activities where you will have to touch surfaces or items that people you don't live with have also touched, are higher risk.
This risk is lowered when you follow good hand hygiene guidance such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser (with 60 to 70% alcohol content).
|Activities where you won't have to touch surfaces or items that people you don't live with have also touched, are lower risk.
Following good hand hygiene guidance, such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser (with 60 to 70% alcohol content) further lowers risk.
Education and childcare
Children and young people at high and moderate risk are encouraged to attend school and other daily activities such as summer clubs, while being cautious to follow public health guidance where they are able to understand this.
Children and young people at high and moderate risk and their parents or carers may choose to use the 'higher and lower risk activities' guidance on this page to engage in activities that are lower risk wherever possible.
Further questions or concerns can be directed to the child or young person's specialist doctor.
Work and other indoor activities outside the home
Those at high or moderate risk are encouraged to make personal, risk-informed decisions regarding indoor activities where they may mix with those outside of their household, such as attending a workplace, visiting a pub or restaurant, going shopping, or using a gym.
These decisions may involve consideration of personal and medical circumstances, advice from a GP, and the many health and wellbeing benefits that returning to daily life and routine will have.
Those at high and moderate risk are encouraged to make careful decisions about travel off-island, balancing the need to visit friends and relatives, with the risks of travel to places where there is increased risk. Appropriate travel insurance should be secured.
Public transport on-island should be avoided wherever possible, as it may be more difficult to practice physical distancing.
Car-sharing with those from different households should also be avoided, unless with a small and consistent group of close family and friends. Where these activities are unavoidable, it’s even more important to follow public health prevention measures, such as using hand sanitiser and wearing a mask.
Visitors and carers in your home
If you are at high or moderate risk, any essential care or services delivered in your home should continue. It remains safer to limit the number of people visiting your home, and to limit visiting the homes of others, unless it is those of a small and consistent group of close family and friends.
Any visitors should be careful to follow public health information and advice, such as washing their hands when they enter your home and frequently thereafter and should stay away if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. It’s also recommended that visitors wear a mask when inside your home. Opening windows and doors to let fresh air circulate will lower risk. If you visit the home of someone else, following these same principles will also help reduce risk.
Health and dental care
Islanders at high risk and moderate risk should attend any medical appointments they have and seek medical advice and support where needed, whether this is COVID-19 related or not. Those at higher risk should not avoid seeking treatment because of COVID-19 and be assured that health and care settings take careful measures to ensure these settings are safe.
Support and resources
There is support available to you through Connect Me for your mental and emotional wellbeing, family concerns, or practical needs.
To find out what support is available you can:
- visit the
Connect Me webpage
- phone the helpline and ask for Connect Me
- call your Parish Hall and ask about Connect Me