We have received a number of emails emphasizing the importance of keeping in touch and making sure that our exercise routines are maintained, for both our physical and mental health. Unfortunately we are not able to promote any proposals with regard to members meeting either in indoor spaces or outdoors. Any such arrangements will have to made at the organisers’ own risk, against both the advice of the authorities, and, of course, the Crouch End & District U3A.
The following is an extract from the UK Government advice on social distancing.
The official Government advice on social distancing is as follows:
This guidance is for everyone, including children. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers. If you live in a residential care setting guidance is available.
We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
This group includes those who are:
■ aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
Background and scope of guidance
■ under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
□ chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
□ chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
□ chronic kidney disease
□ chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
□ chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
□ problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
□ a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
□ being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
■ those who are pregnant
Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The NHS in England will directly contact you with advice about the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.
People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
■ people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
■ people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
■ people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
■ people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
They are to:
■ avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
■ avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
■ work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
■ avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
■ avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
■ use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable.
We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:
■ are over 70
■ have an underlying health condition
■ are pregnant