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19th July 2021

Ending of Covid restrictions on 19 July 2021

The UK government has announced an end to all restrictions in England from this date. The reason given is that vaccination has ‘broken the link’ between the virus and serious illness.

However, it is known that blood cancer patients, because of their damaged immune system, may well not receive a high level of protection from vaccination and could, therefore, be placed at risk. This is particularly the case when the infection rate is now rising so rapidly.

We acknowledge that each person will have a different view on the level of risk they are prepared to accept, and some will be keen to return to as normal a life as possible. In addition, CLL patients are at different stages in their CLL journey, and this carries different degrees of risk.

However, we urge all CLL patients, especially everyone who was recommended to shield, to consider carefully how they now behave. In particular:

  • Continue to wear a face mask as previously, preferably to FP3 standard, which gives a higher protection to the wearer.
  • Meet people outside, if possible, otherwise in a well-ventilated room.
  • Try to maintain social distancing if possible.
  • Continue with regular hand washing and sanitising.
  • Try to ensure that people you come into close contact with also follow these rules.

These simple measures will help to minimise risk but will not eliminate it completely.

Please also note:

Research indicates that as a CLL patient, you may be more at risk if:

  • You are receiving or have recently completed a course of chemotherapy.
  • You are about to start treatment.
  • You are on a course of BTK treatment, for example Ibrutinib or Acalabrutinib.
  • You are receiving Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IViG).
  • You have another illness (comorbidity).

It will be difficult for all CLL patients to navigate through this next period, but we will try to keep everyone as up to date as possible on any developments.

Please note that these changes relate to England and other countries in the UK are retaining some or all of the measures. You can find these here:

Scotland: Coronavirus (COVID-19) protection levels: what you can do – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Wales: Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Topic | GOV.WALES

Northern Ireland: Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations and guidance: what they mean for you | nidirect