COVID-19 Advice for Vulnerable Residents
For the latest advice on COVID-19 visit the COVID-19 Latest Advice web page.
For information regarding COVID-19 testing visit the COVID-19 Testing Information page.
The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone and it has been particularly hard for those who have been advised to take extra precautions.
Although cases of COVID-19 are currently higher than at other points during the pandemic, they are still below the levels at which shielding was last introduced, with significantly fewer hospitalisations than seen when cases were at similar levels.
Coupled with the high levels of vaccination, this means that the risk of catching COVID-19 is lower for everyone, including clinically extremely vulnerable people. This has allowed the Government to ease restrictions for everyone.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people are now advised, as a minimum, to follow the same guidance as the general population, which means the changes that came into effect on 19 July also apply to you. The guidance for everyone is available on the Government website.
The latest information suggests that having two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine reduces the severity of the illness if you catch the virus. However, as you may remain at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if you were to catch COVID-19, you may wish to think about additional precautions you may wish to take. Information about additional measures you can take to protect yourself and loved ones is on the Government website.
Examples of things you could do to lower your risk of infection:
- meet outside where possible
- make sure the space is well ventilated if you meet inside; open windows and doors or take other actions to let in plenty of fresh air
- consider whether you and those you are meeting have been vaccinated – you might want to wait until 14 days after everyone’s second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others
- wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face
- consider continuing to practice social distancing if that feels right for you and your friends
- ask friends and family to take a lateral flow test before visiting you
- ask home visitors to wear face coverings
- consider going to shops and pharmacies at quieter times of the day when there are less people around, or book delivery slots through your local supermarket.
- get help through the NHS Volunteer Responders programme - 0809 196 3646 (8am and 8pm, seven days a week).
- continue to seek support from the NHS for your existing or any new health conditions.
If you are feeling worried, distressed or lonely you should get support. The Every Mind Matters website, provides advice and practical steps to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health.
The most effective form of protection from COVID-19, even for the most vulnerable, is vaccination.
The COVID-19 vaccines are effective for the majority of clinically extremely vulnerable people and provide a significant amount of protection against the virus, including to those who are immunocompromised. It is therefore really important that you have both doses of the vaccine when it is offered to you.
It is also important that other members of your household get vaccinated as this will lower your chances of catching COVID-19.
You may be offered a booster dose over the coming months to further increase your level of protection. You should take this when it is offered to you.
There are a small number of immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people who may be less well protected by the vaccines. Those individuals should know who they are, will always have been at risk of infectious disease and, pre-pandemic, they would have had to make individual risk assessments in consultation with their GP or clinician. If this applies to you then you should get in contact with your GP or specialist to discuss this further.
All vaccines offer some level of protection, so you should still get vaccinated against COVID-19 even if you are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed.
What about children and young people?
Children under 16 years of age, even if they are clinically extremely vulnerable, are at low risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 and are not routinely recommended for vaccination.
However, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advise that the following groups of children should be offered vaccination from COVID-19:
- 12-15-year olds with the underlying health conditions specified below:
- Severe neuro-disabilities
- Down’s Syndrome
- Underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression
- Those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register
- 12-15-year olds who are healthy, but are household contacts of individuals (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed
All 16-17-year olds who are either clinically extremely vulnerable or have underlying health conditions were included in Phase One of the vaccine deployment programme, and have therefore already been offered a COVID-19 vaccine.
The NHS will contact eligible children aged 12-15 to invite them for vaccination. However, if you think that your child is eligible but has not been contacted by the end of August you should contact your GP.
Rapid COVID-19 tests are available for anyone who does not have symptoms of Coronavirus. All lateral flow tests are free with results available in 45 minutes. More information on the COVID-19 Testing web page.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must stay at home while you are waiting for a home self-sampling kit, a test site appointment or a test result. More information on the COVID-19 Testing web page.
Taxicard is a scheme that provides subsidised travel for people who have a serious mobility impairment that makes using public transport difficult.
Taxicard holders make journeys in licensed London taxis and private hire vehicles, and the subsidy applies directly to each trip.
To apply for a Taxicard, you can call 020 7332 1224 and request an application or email the Contact Centre.
Alternatively, you can download an application form directly from London Taxicard.
Only essential journeys should be made during the COVID-19 lockdown.
If you are disabled and can't use public transport, Dial-a-Ride is a free, door-to-door service that is great for getting out and about.
This is a free service. However, to use this service you will need to become a member.
To find out more, including how to apply, visit the TFL website.
Only essential journeys should be made during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Keeping your independence
You may be eligible for an occupational therapy assessment.
The goal of occupational therapy is to improve your ability to complete everyday tasks and help you keep your independence.
Coping with a diagnosis of cancer is difficult. For many, the Coronavirus is an extra concern and worry. Help and support is available and there are things you can do to help yourself.
The North East London Cancer Alliance have put together this video which explains the importance of screening and treatment for cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are homeless or sleeping rough in the City of London, there is support available.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing measures in the UK, we encourage anyone seeking housing advice or homelessness services to contact us by email or phone in the first instance. We will not be offering appointments at the Guildhall until further notice.
If you can't find somewhere to live and require homelessness assistance, we will carry out a full housing assessment and discuss your current housing situation over the phone. We will arrange a suitable time to do this during normal working hours.
To arrange a phone assessment or for more information about making a homeless application and your housing options, please get in touch by emailing the Homelessness Team, or by phone 0207 332 1804.
Visit the COVID-19 Help with Food and Money web page for information on accessing food, money and other essentials.
Call NHS 111 (24/7) if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do.
City Wellbeing Centre offers virtual counselling and psychotherapy sessions to workers and residents in and around the Square Mile, whatever their financial circumstances, improving access to treatments that are not available through the NHS.
Dragon Cafe in the City welcomes anyone working or living in the Square Mile. It's a space where you can "release the pressure" of work, home or day-to-day life. Come along and take part in a range of free activities promoting mental wellbeing, or just to relax and meditate in the space.
Call Samaritans on 116 123 (24/7). Whatever you're going through, call Samaritans any time, from any phone. They are there round the clock and the number is free to call.
Call Silverline on 0800 470 8090 (24/7). The Silver Line is a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Call Gallop on 0800 999 5428. Gallop's National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline is continuing to operate as normal. They are open Monday to Friday 10am-5pm and Wednesday to Thursday 10am-8pm to give advice and support for people who have experienced domestic abuse.
City Corporation residents can access free support for bereavement through St Joseph's Hospice (commissioned by City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group).
Contact the Hospice via the First Contact Team on 0300 303 0400 for referrals and 24/7 advice and support, or email St Josephs.
For more information about bereavement support visit our Bereavement Support web page.
Help accessing services
City Connections link people to health and wellbeing services in the Square Mile.
They are here for all City Corporation residents and workers to help you find and access the support or information you need.
If you are still concerned about your wellbeing because of COVID-19, you should take a look at the NHS website first.
If following that you are still concerned or have any further questions you should contact your GP or clinician, who can provide you with more advice that is specific to your condition.
Some helpful resources
City and Hackney Dementia Alliance
A guide to managing isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Including games, activities, health and wellbeing advice and helplines.
A helpful guide with advice on how to support someone with Autism from the East London NHS Foundation Trust.
Getting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak