As the whole of Lancashire reverts to Tier 3 restrictions from Wednesday 2 December, the government is issuing updated advice to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people.
The advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people in Blackburn with Darwen is similar to that issued in October when the borough first went into Tier 3.
However, CEV people can return to work and school from 2 December.
The government is writing to all CEV people in England early next week, with more detailed advice on taking precautions to keep themselves safe. This includes advice on keeping social interactions to a minimum.
People classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) because of underlying health conditions are still advised to stay at home as much as possible. However, from 3 December children can go to school, and employed adults who cannot work from home can go to their workplace.
The government’s letter will also include specific advice for people who are CEV relating to the festive period – they can form Christmas bubbles between 23 and 27 December, like the rest of the UK population. However, they are advised to carefully consider the risks of socialising with people beyond their own household, and not to put themselves in situations where the greater risk make them feel anxious.
Dr Mark Dziobon, local GP and Medical Director for the Pennine Lancashire CCGs, said: “Locally, we are still very concerned about the high infection rates, the high number of hospital admissions and sadly the high number of deaths from Covid. GPs have worked hard with hospital services to set up a “virtual covid ward” which is proving very successful in monitoring and helping those who are really vulnerable and at risk of hospital admission. With Covid some people can become breathless quickly. Now we ensure that patients monitor their breathing and we have set up an alert system to ensure people get the right treatment quickly.
“All health services are continuing to provide care for Covid and non-Covid patients. We are hearing that even those who have so called mild symptoms can suffer some longer term problems. Make no mistake, Covid-19 is a very serious disease. The vaccine news is promising but everyone still needs to follow the guidance, which has been put in place to protect us, and encourage our families and friends to do the same. If everyone plays their part to prevent the spread, collectively we can get through this.”
Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Adult Services, said: “We recognise the huge sacrifices that Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people and their families have made since March to keep themselves safe from the threat of Coronavirus. As the restrictions are relaxed slightly as we revert to Tier 3, and then further over the Christmas period, we appeal to people with underlying health conditions to think carefully about the risks of gathering with extended family and friends. Choosing whether to form a Christmas bubble of three households is very much a personal choice for someone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, and they will need to balance the risks”
More information about the updated guidance for people classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable is available on the gov.uk website.