Published on 7 April 2021

The government has announced latest plans for an easing of restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The recent changes are coming into effect across the UK.

Shielding – aimed at protecting those at the highest risk from complications linked to Covid-19, including people living with diabetes - ended from 31st March.

On shielding guidance a government statement said: “This guidance is for everyone in England who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past.

“This shielding guidance applies to clinically extremely vulnerable individuals only. Others living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable are not advised to follow this guidance. They should instead follow the general advice and regulations set out in the national lockdown guidance that came into effect on 5 January 2021.

“The clinically extremely vulnerable will get priority access to vaccination against Covid-19 before the general population and in line with the priority ordering set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). You will be contacted again by the NHS with more information on when and how you will be invited to get the vaccine.”

Regarding what the latest changes mean, the government statement added: “Whilst the national lockdown has been effective, and cases of COVID-19 are now falling, the levels of infection in the community remain high and the virus continues to pose a high risk to people across the country.

“Everyone in England, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, is required to follow the new national lockdown guidance, which has been set out by the Government and applies to the whole population.”

Read Covid-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable


A man receiving a COVID-19 test by a healthcare professional.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions remain in place across the country.

In England:

  • Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
  • Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside
  • Work from home if you can and only travel when necessary
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home
Read more about the rules on what you can and cannot do.
If you have no symptoms advice is to check if you should get regular rapid lateral flow tests.

If you have coronavirus symptoms:

If you are out of work, need to get food, or want to take care of your mental health read the following to Find Support.

Recent and upcoming changes for easing restrictions across the UK


The roadmap out of lockdown has begun. From 29th March, the ‘stay at home’ rule ended - and up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside. Shielding ended on 31st March.


People are asked to ‘Stay Local’ from 2nd April. A timetable for further lockdown easing from 5th April is on GOV.SCOT.


The stay local restriction was lifted on 27th March. It is illegal to travel in or out of Wales without a reasonable excuse, such as work. Holiday accommodation opened for people living in Wales only. Read about the rules on GOV.WALES.

Northern Ireland

The next review will happen on or before 15th April. You can read the guidance on current restrictions on nidirect.

Read How people with diabetes could become more ill if diagnosed with Covid-19
Read NHS information on Diabetes and your Covid-19 recovery
Read government Covid-19 guidance and support
Download the NHS Covid-19 app

Remember, ‘Hands. Face. Space.’:

  • Hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • Space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings).
For people living with diabetes previously published advice on protecting yourself from the virus is recommended

Whilst the safety measures have not changed and many of the previously recommended messages remain the same in this respect, we understand this may be a difficult time for many DRWF supporters living with diabetes and remind you we are always happy to hear from you and offer help and support where we can for any concerns you may have throughout this uncertain period.

Latest recommendations for people with diabetes

If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable – including people under 70 with an underlying health condition, including diabetes, you could be at higher risk of more symptoms from coronavirus.

As previously reported, almost one in three of all deaths from coronavirus among people in hospital in England during the Covid-19 pandemic have been associated with diabetes.

A follow-up NHS report confirmed that people living with diabetes are at a significantly increased risk if they get Covid-19 compared to people without the condition.

The breakdown of figures confirmed that people with type 1 diabetes who are diagnosed with Covid-19 are more likely to die from the illness than people with type 2 diabetes.

The news highlighted the importance for people with diabetes to self-isolate as much as possible in line with government Covid-19 lockdown guidelines.

A healthcare professional administering a vaccine.

The NHS is currently offering the Covid-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus 

The vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs. An NHS statement said: “The coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.”

The advice from NHS is “Wait to be contacted”.

The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine.

It is important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

The NHS has released guidance to update people on the safety of the covid-19 vaccinations being rolled-out across the UK.

Call to action - How you can support DRWF during this time

Sarah Tutton, Chief Executive of DRWF, said: “Research is the only way to find new treatments and a cure for diabetes. We have multi-year grant awards in place right now which we must do our utmost to honour and we must be able to react to ongoing applications that we receive for research work that could truly make a difference to the lives of people with diabetes. 

“We exist on voluntary donations and fundraised income and like most charities, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our ability to raise the funds we need. We expect the months ahead will be just as challenging, and sadly this may have an impact on our ability to fund the volume and value of research work that could fuel the next big breakthrough.

“Charities need us, as we need them, more than ever before. Our supporters enable us to keep our research funding on track meaning that the diabetes research community has funds available to find the cure that could transform the lives of millions. We can’t thank our supporters enough for their continued support during these challenging times.”

Read Lockdown guidance for staying home and safe for people living with diabetes during Covid-19 pandemic

DRWF operations during the Covid-19 health crisis

The DRWF team is working remotely. Covid-19 guidance, particularly where it aligns or impacts with diabetes guidance, is shared as quickly as possible through the DRWF website and social media channels with the aim of making it as easy to understand as possible and a reliable source of latest news.

Support DRWF by making a donation here
Find out more about DRWF-funded research here
Find out more about DRWF fundraising here
For latest update follow DRWF on FacebookInstagram and Twitter
To receive the charity’s latest bulletins as they become available, please sign up here
Read DRWF diabetes information leaflets here
Join the Diabetes Wellness Network here

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