Beating bowel cancer together

Coronavirus and bowel cancer

Page updated: Monday 15 February 2021

 

On this page you'll find information on:

 

Bowel cancer services

The NHS is focusing on fully recovering cancer services, making sure that care for patients continues to be safe, effective and holistic. This means that cancer diagnosis, treatment and care are continuing, and the NHS is working to ensure that these services return to operating as they did before.

It is important to contact your GP surgery straightaway if you have worrying symptoms and you think it might be bowel cancer. GP surgeries are offering online consultations so that you don’t have to attend in person unnecessarily. If you have any symptoms, don’t be embarrassed and don’t ignore them. Doctors are used to seeing lots of people with bowel problems.

If you have been asked to go to the hospital, it is important that you attend. The only reason you should not go is if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.  In this case, you should tell the hospital, cancel your appointment and self-isolate. The clinical team will discuss with you about when your appointment can be safely rescheduled.

Find out about the temporary changes to bowel cancer treatment and care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Government guidance

The Government is advising everybody to:

  • stay alert
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • wash your hands regularly
  • wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • make space. Stay at least 2 metres apart or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus.

For information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme, see our answers to some frequently asked questions.

For full government guidance, visit the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland government websites. We have summarised the guidance below.

Government guidance for England

The Government has introduced a national lockdown from Tuesday 5 January 2021. In the first instance, please refer to wider Government guidance on:

The Government also has a wide range of information to help people at this time, including on employment, financial support, school closures and childcare. See: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Government guidelines for the national lockdown

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you can't reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you shouldn't travel outside your local area
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible.

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

This guidance replaces previous regulations relating to local alert levels.

Read advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people in England.

Government guidance for Scotland

From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland has moved from Level 4 to a temporary lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. In the first instance, please refer to wider government guidance on:

Government guidelines for the temporary lockdown

By law, you can only leave your home (or garden) if you have a reasonable excuse or for an essential purpose. Examples of reasonable excuses to go out are summarised on the Scottish government website.

Some islands remain in level 3.

The advice aims to be proportionate to the level of infections in the local community, optimises the benefits of protection and minimises harm to your health and wellbeing, and aims to empower people to make decisions that are right for you.

To find out the protection level for your area, visit the Scottish Government website.

There are five protection levels. Guidance for each can be found below:

Read government advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people in Scotland.

Government guidance for Wales

From 20 December 2020 the Welsh Government has applied level 4 restrictions across all of Wales. Please finder to wider government guidance on the Welsh Government website in the first instance.

They are advising people to:

  • follow social distancing rules with people you don’t live with or who aren’t in your support bubble
  • wear a face covering (if you are able to) in all indoor public places
  • stay at home
  • not create an extended household (single adults or single parents may join with one other household to form an exclusive support bubble)
  • meet only the people you live with or your support bubble indoors
  • meet only your household or support bubble in private gardens
  • meet only your household or support bubble outdoors
  • work from home if you can
  • not travel without a reasonable excuse.

Even where something may be allowed, the Welsh Government ask you not to think about whether it is permitted but whether it is truly necessary and sensible. The purpose of this short lockdown is to create a concerted national effort to do everything we can to stop the spread of coronavirus, and every individual contribution to that counts.

The national measures will be reviewed at least every three weeks. More guidance and FAQs about the lockdown can be found on the Welsh Government website.

There are four protection levels

The advice aims to be proportionate to the level of infections in the local community, optimises the benefits of protection and minimises harm to your health and wellbeing, and aims to empower people to make decisions that are right for you.

To find out the protection level for your area, visit the Welsh Government website.

Guidance for each level can be found below:

Read government advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people in Wales.

Government guidance for Northern Ireland

The Government in Northern Ireland have advised that for six weeks from 26 December 2020 the following restrictions will be in place. In the first instance, please refer to wider government guidance on the Northern Ireland Government website.

Guidance includes:

  • stricter restrictions will be in place each night from 8.00 pm until 6.00 am the following morning. Between 8.00 pm and 6.00 am there can be no indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind. This includes no household mixing in private gardens
  • essential retail must close between the hours of 8.00 pm and 6.00 am. Grocery click and collect services can operate between the hours of 8.00 pm and 6.00 am for orders already placed
  • petrol stations are permitted to open for fuel and air, and if in place, operate a night hatch system
  • take away and the delivery of take away food isn't allowed between the hours of 8.00 pm and 6.00 am
  • outdoor exercise is only permitted with members of your own household
  • households are not allowed to mix indoors in private homes
  • up to six people from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but you should maintain social distancing. Children aged 12 and under are not counted in this total
  • an overnight stay in a private home is not allowed unless it is a member of your bubble
  • you should avoid all unnecessary travel. Where travel is necessary for work, education and other essential purposes, people are asked to walk, cycle or use private transport, shared only with members of their household where possible
  • the use of face coverings is mandatory on public transport, in taxis, private buses, coaches and on aircraft, in train and bus stations and in airports
  • you can travel for recreational purposes to outdoor open spaces such as a parks, forest parks and visitor attractions. Town centres remain open for business
  • schools and other education settings remain open
  • hospitality venues can only remain open for takeaway and delivery of food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Full government guidance can be found on the Northern Ireland Government website.

 

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