Updated: Sep 3, 2020

See the NPC statement on Social Distancing, PHE advice and our office.

The NPC understands that many of you are anxious, dismayed and in some cases angry at the latest Government guidelines on Coronavirus (Covid-19). The NPC’s advice is - do not panic. These are exceptional and worrying times, but our generation has come through worse. There is help out there and we will try to point you to that help wherever we can.

On Monday evening (16th) the Government announced that they 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)

• under 70 with an underlying health condition (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)

*NB: We are sending the full Public Health England social distancing measures as a pdf doc along with this statement – it’s 6 pages of straightforward, easy-to-read advice.

The possibility of long-term self-isolation for our age group is unprecedented and hugely concerning. The main feedback we have heard from our members covers multiple worries about the impact and indeed the feasibility of social distancing. We know there is a lot of confusing advice out there about the Coronavirus. Please follow the Government guidelines and Public Health England advice wherever possible. Remember while it is just advice and guidance at this stage, do use your best judgement to keep yourself and others safe (especially if you are symptom-free and decide to go out for fresh air or to buy essentials!).

Apart from whether or not any of us catch the virus, the greatest fears we are hearing about from members in relation to the social distancing guidelines, are loneliness and isolation, money worries, health care and the supply of food and medication. The NPC will be lobbying on your behalf to try and raise the awareness of the Government to these worries.

We are all aware that panic-buying has meant many supermarkets running out of food and medication essentials (assuming you feel safe to go to the supermarket, or have someone to go on your behalf). Ordering deliveries online is also only possible if you have a home computer, which many of our members do not.

*Some supermarkets have announced they are making special arrangements for older people (who are symptom-free!) to go shop in store and avoid the rush. Iceland and Lidl are arranging special shopping hours at some of their stores – you can either call your local store (telephone numbers can be found under the ‘store locator’ on their websites, or if you only have a landline, by calling directory inquiries).