It is understandable that anyone with a brain tumour, or caring for someone with a brain tumour, may be feeling more anxious during this difficult time. We are here for you if you need guidance, information or emotional support – our dedicated Support Line 01454 422701(9am-5pm, Monday-Friday), Support Professionals and our Facebook Support Forum are all available to you.
On this page we aim to keep information simple, and to summarize and update guidance and advice particularly relevant to the brain tumour community. However the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) changes on a daily basis, so for the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, please always check:
and the official public health websites covering all areas of the UK:
England - NHS
Northern Ireland - Public Health Agency
Scotland - NHS Inform
Wales - Public Health Wales
For help and advice about your well-being and mental health during self isolation, please see our dedicated page which is full of tips and advice on how to reduce anxiety and improve your mental health.
What are the current rules?
A new lockdown across all of England has now been introduced due to the continuing rise in the number of Covid-19 cases. Restricting movement is particularly important because 1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 have no symptoms, so you could be spreading the virus without knowing it. The lockdown means that everyone throughout the country must stay at home unless it is essential to go out.
Essential reasons for leaving your home are:
Shopping for necessities such as food and medicines, for yourself or for someone who has to self-isolate
Going to work, including voluntary or charity work, if this cannot be done from home
Exercising within your local area, once a day with your household or support bubble, or one other person
Meeting your support bubble or childcare bubble if necessary and you have been permitted to form one
Getting medical assistance for illness or injury or help to avoid risk of harm such as domestic abuse
Attending education or childcare, but only for certain eligible groups
If you do have to leave your home you must of course continue to:
Keep washing your hands regularly
Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
Stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions
Is it the same across the UK?
A national lockdown is also in force across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You should check the regulations and advice applying to where you are in the UK.
Click on the relevant link for full information from each area.
Who is 'clinically vulnerable'?
Although coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, some people are at greater risk. It is even more important that for people who are considered 'clinically vulnerable' or 'extremely clinically vulnerable' extra consideration and precaution is taken. Click the link for details of who is considered to be at higher risk.
Am I more at risk if I have a brain tumour?
If you are currently having chemotherapy or you have very recently finished treatment you may be at higher risk, and therefore need to shield.
If this is the case you are likely to have been contacted to advise you about this. If you think this applies to you but you have not received an NHS letter or been contacted by your GP, we suggest you discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital team. They will be in the best position to confirm the guidelines that you should follow in order to stay safe.
What is shielding?
If you are someone who is at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from coronavirus, you are advised to take extra steps to protect yourself.
In England extremely vulnerable people are again being advised to shield and so should not attend work, school, college or university. This means that if you are in this category you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. Click the link for the latest government guidance on shielding.
To help people who have to shield, the service to register for additional support, including priority access to supermarket deliveries, has re-opened. If you want to register, or have already registered and want to update your details, click the following link.
To find out about other help available in your local area in England you can use the postcode search by clicking the button.
There is separate guidance about shielding and extra help available in other areas of the UK. Please click the link for your location.
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus. It is different to shielding. It's a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. You could be fined if you do not do so.
This means that if required to self isolate you must stay at home and
not go to work, school or public areas
not use public transport or taxis
not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
only take exercise in your own home, or in your garden if you have one
There is information about self-isolation on the NHS website here.
What are coronavirus symptoms?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus are:
a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
a new, continuous cough
a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
If you have coronavirus symptoms you are advised to get a test and stay at home.
If you think you may need one, click the button below for information about when and how to get a test.