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People with diabetes urged to be ‘particularly stringent’ amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Editor
24th March 2020

The government is advising people with diabetes who are at an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be “particularly stringent” in following social distancing measures.

The guidance is for everyone, including children, and advises on social distancing measures that everyone 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.

People with diabetes have been included on a list which outline who may be at an increased of infection. Some of the other conditions are also diabetes-related complications such as chronic kidney disease, being seriously overweight and chronic heart disease.

There are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. For those who fall into that category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact them with advice about the more stringent measures that just be followed.

For now, people with health problems, who are 70or older or pregnant women are being told to “rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full”.

Social distancing measures are steps people are being asked to take in a bid to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are to:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  4. 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.
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  6. 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.

For more information on the current guidelines, click here.

Picture credit: Sharon McCutcheon

Comments (27)

  1. Editor says:

    Good afternoon,

    I hope you’re staying safe during this testing time.

    Firstly, I advise you to contact the Diabetes UK Helpline.
    Call: 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. Email:

    Professor Partha Kar, National Specialty Advisor for Diabetes with NHS England, has said people with any type of diabetes should stay home if they can unless it is “essential” they continue working.

    The government is advising people with diabetes to be “particularly stringent” in following social distancing measures. Here is the advice from the government.

    Kind regards and stay safe


  2. Elisabeth Dover says:

    I’m finding this whole situation crazy!im type1 diabetic with asthma,high blood pressure I work in a nursing home and I’m still having to go into work otherwise my boss told me I won’t get paid if I isolate myself?

  3. Sam Livesey says:

    Hi can anybody help? Im a type 1 diabetic im currently off work how ever work have asked for an isolation letter as i am a key worker , if i do not produce one im on satu sick pay which i cannot afford being a single parent and private renting. My gp says they are not sending out the letters so who is and should i receive one? Thanks

  4. Vivienne Anderson says:

    Can you advise me I’m a cleaner at the hospital age 59 and type 2 with poorly controlled sugar my doctor said on the on telephone consult that I should stay away from work for 12 weeks but having trouble getting him to put it in writing for work so I can send it to my manager at work, as you my manager need proof of the letter from my doctor to put it on file at work, what should I do . Your sincerely Vivienne Anderson.

  5. Cheryl Felix says:

    I’m a nurse expected to work directly with COVID patients, age 62 and type 2 with poorly controlled sugars.,my doctor said on a telephone consult that I should stay away from work for 12 weeks but am having trouble getting him to put that in writing. Meanwhile my line manager (NHS) is making me feel guilty for being at home while they are ‘front line staff’. As if I wasn’t feeling guilty enough already! I feel that when I do go back, whenever that may be, my colleagues will have turned against me.

  6. Vanessa Oscroft says:

    Please advise…My 23 year old son is insulin dependent type 1 diabetic, he also has a secondary long term health problem of Ulcerative Colitis (similar to crohns) which he also takes daily medication for.
    He works in a local small supermarket, and therefore is classed as a key worker…he has taken this week off work, but is expected to return to work in 3 days time…I (his mother)want him to take more time off work to shield him from the Covid 19 virus, however he says he will not be entitled to pay during this time and therefore unable to pay his rent…why has he not received a letter from the NHS as a vulnerable person? He is being asked to risk his life as a key worker when his health conditions should class him as vulnerable…
    We desperately need concrete information to say weather he should or shouldn’t be at work!

  7. Ann Conaway says:

    Hi, I am new to this site but would like to ask a question as I am so confused with whether I should be taking 12 weeks off work or whether I can return. Guidance says I am in a vulnerable category being insulin dependent, I also work in the health sector, can I go back to work if I take stringent precautions.

  8. Helen Phillips says:

    Can you advise me. I’m an agency nurse , T2 should I be working ? The guidance doesn’t say don’t work, just work from home if possible. I want to do my bit but don’t want to Put extra pressure on the nhs if I became unwell.

  9. Caroline Davies says:

    I am type 1 brittle diabetic, working in a nursing home, as I am high risk should I be working?

  10. Editor says:

    Dear Susan,

    Here is the advice from the government:

    “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.”

    The government lists diabetes as at risk group. So, that’s pretty clear.

    Here’s the link:

    Plus, here’s out story about it:

    Kind regards and stay safe


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