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 (32)

  1. Malaine Crisp says:

    I have type 2 diabetes and work as a care assistant that can’t social distance

  2. Angie Wilce says:

    Talk about mixed messages one minute the government are asking us to stay safe & yes my employees are asking when I’m going back, I’m type 2 with high Blood pressure, Iv been off work five weeks self isolating. and by the way my hr phoned to say take 12 weeks off & I get a call 5 weeks in asking any thoughts ? on going in all very confusing.

  3. Rebecca Moore says:

    Please could anyone advise if they’ve had a response to their questions? Mine is similar. I’m T2, asthmatic and high blood pressure. The GP has advised I don’t go to work as I work in a children’s home with children with disabilities. The nature of the job means it is impossible to social distance. My problem like many others it seems is I can’t get a letter to back up what the GP says but my employer want to see evidence. I feel that I’m stuck. Any advice would be gratefully received.

  4. Jane S says:

    I’m a type 1diabetic , I have had a heart attack in the past have asthma osteoarthritis am in a wheelchair and live with my autistic adult child who has a learning disability,asthma and a low immune system due to medication, I can’t go out to the shops , have no one to help me , why am I not on the governments vulnerable list , I can’t get a home delivery and now my chemist is out of slots too , it’s all very worrying

  5. Sam Livesey says:

    Hi just to let people know i phoned the nhs 111 helpline today as i was unsure if i was due an isolation letter. They told me we are not due isolation letters as we are in the high risk category and not the extremely vunrable . So as a key worker(food retail) i will have to go back to work soon as i cannot afford to support me and my two children on sat sick pay as that is all i am entitled to if i was to stay off. Hope this helps any one else who is a key worker and diabetic.

  6. 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


  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.