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Covid 19 (Coronavirus) - Information for Shine Members: July 2021

12th July 2021


If you have been affected by the current situation and are in need of Shine's services, click on the link below to find out how we can support you at this difficult time.

We are committed to continuing to deliver our support, advice and information services for you.

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Regular updates on Covid-19 (Coronavirus) can be found below.

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

12th July 2021

Keeping safe and the lifting of coronavirus regulations

Accessing healthcare

Further information

Keeping safe and the lifting of coronavirus regulations

All national coronavirus restrictions in England are being lifted from the 19th of July, some light restrictions will remain in place in Wales and Northern Ireland so be sure to check what rules apply where you are. Reviews of the restrictions are expected to take place in Wales by 15th of July, and in Northern Ireland by the 22nd of July so keep in mind that you may need to recheck the Welsh government website or the Northern Irish government website for updates to restrictions in these nations.

At a time when coronavirus cases and hospitalisations are rising, only around 50% of the UK population are fully vaccinated, and vaccine resistant variants are emerging, Shine shares the concerns of a number of scientists that this decision is premature. We therefore recommend that all members remain cautious in spite of the change in rules, and follow the World Health Organisation’s advice:

  • Getting both doses of your vaccine will help to protect you from catching and spreading coronavirus. All adults in the UK are now eligible for a vaccine and can book online.
  • It is safest to follow other precautions even after vaccination.
  • Open air spaces are safer than indoor spaces.
  • Well ventilated indoor spaces are safer than poorly ventilated spaces. Opening two windows/doors to create a through-draft is more effective than just opening one (though one is better than none).
  • Farther away from others is safer than closer (minimum 1m from people outside your household).
  • Shorter times spent with others is safer.
  • Being around fewer people is safer (so avoid busy places/times).
  • Wearing masks in public indoor spaces helps protect you and others around you.
  • Observe good hand hygiene, cover your mouth with a tissue or the crook of your arm if you sneeze or cough.
  • Self-isolate and get a test if you have COVID symptoms.
  • Self-isolate if you are identified as close contact of someone who is infected.
  • Download and use the NHS COVID app.

We make these recommendations for the particular protection of the vulnerable, the unvaccinated, the partially vaccinated, and the health service, but we all benefit from lower rates of infection and from a lower risk of vaccine resistant variants evolving.

Accessing healthcare
During the pandemic it can be hard to know what to do if you're unwell or have a concern about your health or the health of a loved one. It remains important to:

  • Get medical help if you think you may need it
  • Keep any appointments or procedures you have booked, unless told not to attend
  • Go to hospital if advised to

The NHS has made significant changes to ensure it is safe for patients to access face-to-face services, there are also more ways to get medical help and prescriptions remotely, either online or by phone. The NHS website has more information about using health services during the pandemic.

Further information
There’s no evidence that having spina bifida or hydrocephalus alone automatically increases the risk from coronavirus, or that the vaccine should be less safe or effective in those with the conditions. However, other associated conditions, that some of our members have, can increase coronavirus vulnerability. See our February 2021 update for more information.

For more information about measures you can take to lower the risk from coronavirus see our March 2021 update.

Even though legal restrictions are relaxing, you should continue to follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus at all times. This includes after you have been vaccinated against coronavirus.

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