MORE than a million people most at risk from coronavirus have been told to live in isolation at home for three months.

Around 1.5 million personally addressed letters have been sent to those judged most likely to die from the disease, saying they should cut themselves off for their own safety for the next 12 weeks.

The Government said people at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19 should be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

Those identified as being extremely vulnerable are as follows:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients.
  • People with specific cancers: people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer; people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment; people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer; people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors; people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  • People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

Social distancing measures - keeping two metres apart from others - are steps the Government is recommending to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus.