Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Northern Ireland updates on Covid-19 information for people with diabetes

Updated 8 January: this page is specifically about guidance for people affected by diabetes in Northern Ireland. We'll continue to share relevant information provided by the NI Executive.

Current restrictions in Northern Ireland

From 12.01am on Friday 8 January the following restrictions come into force:

  • You must stay at home, and work from home unless unable to do so. You can only leave your home for essential reasons.
  • No private indoor gatherings, except for those with childcare or other caring responsibilities.
  • Outdoor gatherings reduced to a maximum of six people from two households. In a difference from before, children under 12 are now counted towards the permitted total.
  • Outdoor exercise is permitted with one person from another household - to allow, for example, those living alone to go for a walk with a friend or relative.

The current restrictions are similar to those in place during the first lockdown of spring 2020. As it stands, the restrictions will be in place until 6 February and will be reviewed on 21 January.

To see the restrictions in full, please visit the NI Direct website.

During the lockdown:

  • Pre-school, primary and post-primary schools will move to remote learning. Children of key workers can still attend school. Special schools will remain open.
  • Childcare will remain open.
  • Close contact services such as hair salons will have to shut and cafes, restaurants will be only be able to do takeaway services.
  • Closure of all non-essential shops, including garden centres and homeware shops that previously were deemed essential.
  • Closure of leisure and entertainment venues, such as cinemas.
  • Car washes will be closed.

During this period it is important that everyone, particularly people living with diabetes, limits their social contact, keeps at least a two-metre social distance when possible, wears a face covering in enclosed spaces, and washes their hands regularly. 

Shielding

Shielding advice for those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group was paused in Northern Ireland in July 2020. As of 8 January, this is still the case. This advice is being kept under review by the Chief Medical Officer and his team.

However, the current advice for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and working is to stay at home even if you can't work from there. Find out more on the NI Direct website.

Vaccines

The coronavirus vaccination programme began in Northern Ireland in December, beginning with health and social care staff and care homes. 

Find out the latest news about the coronavirus vaccines, including how they work and when they will be available for people with diabetes.

Looking after yourself during the lockdown

We have lots of information to help you look after your yourself in our guide to diabetes. If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, you're not alone. We've got lots of guidance on how to cope with certain emotions and how things like stress can affect your blood sugar levels. Our Learning Zone will help you get to grips with diabetes, both physically and mentally.

And whether you'd prefer to chat to others on our online forum or give one of our helpline team a call, we're here to support you. You can always contact us directly here in Northern Ireland too. The team is still working from home but we can still be reached on n.ireland@diabetes.org.uk.

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