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Your questions about PH & coronavirus

Updated 27th January 2022

People with pulmonary hypertension (PH) are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. If you have PH, you no longer need to shield and there are no requirements to follow different rules to the rest of the population.

However, you may wish to think particularly carefully about additional precautions you might wish to continue to take. Individuals may choose to limit the close contact they have with those they do not usually meet with in order to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, particularly when disease levels in the general community are high.

It is important to respect and be considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach.

If you have pulmonary hypertension, it is really important that you are fully vaccinated. We have a page dedicated to vaccine questions here

What should I do about socialising and meeting others?

You should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated, as the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is generally higher:

  • in crowded spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious
  • in enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air
  • when COVID-19 disease levels are high in the general community

How much you socialise, and who with, is your decision. Take things at your own pace.

Do I need to wear a mask if I have PH?

Rules around face coverings differ around the UK , and in places where they are no longer legally required, some businesses and premises may still request they are worn.

Wearing a face covering, especially when there is close contact between people in enclosed and crowded spaces, will help to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

However, if you find it difficult to wear a face covering because of your PH, you do not have to wear one.

We have created this bespoke exemption notice that you can carry with you and choose to show if you wish.

Some people who find it difficult to wear a mask choose to wear a face shield instead.

What should I do about work?

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and others from risks to their health and safety. Your employer should be able to explain to you the measures they have in place to keep you safe at work. Some employers may request employees to undertake regular testing for COVID-19 to identify people who are asymptomatic.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance on protecting vulnerable workers, including advice for employers and employees on how to talk about reducing risks in the workplace.

If you are unable to work because of coronavirus, financial support may be available. Click here to find out more.

Citizens Advice  has information about your rights at work and how to solve problems in the workplace. If you have concerns you can also get advice on your specific situation and your employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

Are there any treatments for coronavirus?

The NHS is offering new antibody and antiviral treatments to people with COVID-19 who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill. You can find out more about the two treatments available here.

How can I minimise the risk of spreading or contracting coronavirus?

  • Regular hand washing is still the most effective thing that you can do to decrease your risk of infection. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, in particular after being in public places. Avoid touching your face as much as possible. Make sure everyone around you is practising good hand washing techniques.
  • Carry hand sanitiser with you outside of the home and use it regularly, especially if you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Make sure you have been fully vaccinated against other preventable infections, including the influenza vaccination.
  • Eating a good diet, getting enough sleep and taking regular exercise (within your capabilities) all help to ensure you stay as well as possible.