Regarding my wife shielding

My wife is having immunotherapy treatment for her Lung Cancer and as such is in the High-Risk group.

Before this Pandemic, I went to the gym on a Monday and played Walking Football Wednesday and Friday. As an old age Pensioner, this was great for me socially, fitness, and for my mental well being.

With things beginning to open up I would expect these would be available again in a month or so.

My question is would I be able to attend without putting my wife's health at risk or do I have to wait till a vaccine comes along?

Thanks very much

  • Hi Concernedhubby,

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the online community. It’s only natural that you are worried how best to keep your wife safe during our current climate. Especially as your wife is on current therapy, that can make her more at risk of the effects of the corona virus.

    As the risk of the corona virus is reducing, the government is putting in place plans to lift and reduce our current restrictions. There are set dates around when these changes are planned to happen. The changes around lifting restrictions for those within the extremely vulnerable (shielding group) will be done gradually. This is always subject to change if the current R number (risk of corona virus) starts to increase again.

    From the 6th of July, the government will be advising that those shielding (such as your wife)

    • may, if they wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
    • they no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of their household

    From 1 August the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, the government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people, but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.

    Those who are sharing a household with someone shielding are advised to maintain strict social distancing guidance to protect those who are most vulnerable. Making sure you wash your hands leaving and entering your house or any other buildings is advised. Staying 2 metres apart from others and wearing a face mask in enclosed public spaces or on public transport is advised.

    The government has some advice around face coverings that may be helpful.

    Its only understandable that you want to get back to some sort of normality and exercising regularly for your health. It is amazing to hear how active and busy you normally are. This current climate must have been frustrating for you over the past few weeks.

    At present the government has not released any advice around attending or the opening of inside sports centres or gyms. This link is where this information will appear, as and when it is released. Until this information is released, no one is fully aware of what this will entail.

    The guidance is currently, that you can now exercise alone, with members of your household, or with up to 5 other people from outside your household. This guidance is surrounding outdoor exercise and activities. From 4 July, up to two households are permitted to gather in groups of more than 6 people indoors or outdoors, provided members of different households can follow social distancing guidelines. Otherwise, gatherings of more than 6 people indoors or outdoors continue not to be permitted, unless this is essential for work purposes.

    All advice that has been released currently, is only advisory. You have the right to personal choice and to make an assessment, of what you feel is safe to personally do for you and your wife. The advisories are in place to ensure the risk to the public and those most vulnerable remains low. It may help to discuss with your wife’s oncology team if they are concerned about an individual risk to your wife and any advisories they feel should be maintained.

    This is a rapidly evolving situation and the NHS and GOV.UK websites have the most up to date information on prevention of infection from Covid19, and what to do if you are worried about symptoms. This is where you will see any changes within the guidance. The Government are taking instructions from Public Health England and acting accordingly as things change.

    There is also further information on our website about corona virus and cancer that may be useful. This also will also be updated as and when anything changes.

    Wishing you both well

    Best wishes


    Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse specialist



  • Thank you, I will keep abreast of the situation