COVID-19 / Coronavirus info

Last updated 03/12/21

ARMA is working to support our members to share information and respond effectively to the coronavirus outbreak. Patient organisations are working to ensure people have the advice they need related to their condition or medication. Our professional members are working to ensure healthcare professionals have access to the information they need about the virus and also how to continue to provide healthcare support in the current situation.

ARMA is signposting the most relevant information we can find and will update this page as new information becomes available. It includes information for professionals, patients, parents and guidance for Wales and Scotland.

Six key resources for MSK.

Key resources

Latest advice for England.

Announcement about the end of the shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable) list in England (15/09/21)

Press release

Written Ministerial Statement

Good communication with patients whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19.

Information on vaccination

Principles for COVID-19 Vaccination in Musculoskeletal and Rheumatology for Clinicians (Version 10, 3 December 2021)

NHS information for the public on vaccination:

Latest Information and Advice from UK Paediatric Rheumatologists and Ophthalmologists for families re Covid 19 Vaccine (04/08/21)

The latest guidance from Paediatric Rheumatology and Ophthalmology

BSR information on vaccination:

General Chiropractic Council statement on the vaccine:

JCVI advice on third primary dose vaccination for severely immunosuppressed (1/9/21) 

JCVI advice

NHS Implementation Letter

Letter to GP practices and PCNs (30 September)

Information for people with MSK conditions

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

Versus Arthritis

Lupus UK

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK

Information for professionals

NHS response to COVID-19

NHS response to COVID-19: Transition to NHS level 3 incident (letter dated 25 march 2021)

Long COVID NHS plan for 2021/22

NHSE Speciality guides including:

Most specialty guides for MSK are no longer published on the NHSE website. 

COVID-19 rapid guideline: children and young people who are immunocompromised

COVID-19 rapid guideline: rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders

COVID-19 rapid guideline: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services

Other orthopaedics

Clinical Validation of Surgical Waiting Lists: framework and support tools

NICE Covid-19 rapid guidance: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services (26/7/20)

British Orthopaedic Association and Specialist Society Position paper on caring for patients awaiting surgery

Other rheumatology

Management of patients with musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions who: are on corticosteroids; require initiation of oral/IV corticosteroids; require a corticosteroid injection (20/11/20)


  • Denosumab (Prolia) treatment and the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Toolkit: DXA restoration of service
  • Guidance: Secondary fracture prevention for inpatients during COVID-19 pandemic
  • All on the Royal Osteoporosis Society Covid-19 Hub

Shielding (England)

There is different advice for those people considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (previously shielding).

Guidance letters have been sent to GPs and Acute Trusts updating on the guidance and identifying actions. (2/11/20)

Identifying high risk patients who should be shielding – The information in relation to rheumatology is on the BSR website.

COVID-19 – ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people:

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 (updated 12 July):

Community MSK services

Restoration of community health services updated 18 September 2020 and COVID-19 restoration of community health services for children and young
people: second phase of NHS response updated 31 July 2020.

The Stanford Hall consensus statement for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation

Guidance from the CSP on implementing remote consultations


COVID-19 – talking to children and families about returning to school: guiding principles


Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19 updated 1 June 2021

Information for patients

A risk calculator for rheumatology patients to assess their risk and whether you should be taking extra care with COVID precautions.

FAQs for patients on resuming surgical services

Many patient organisations have helplines and web-based information.

Arthritis Action:

Fibromyalgia UK:

Hypermobility Syndromes Association:

Lupus UK:

National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS):

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS): (info page);
and Here For You, a new service that allows you to arrange a callback with someone with RA who understands you:

Psoriasis Association:

Royal Osteoporosis Society:

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK):

Versus Arthritis:

Information for patients and parents of children and young people

From SPARN (Scottish Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Network)

CCCA Kids with Arthritis incorporating JIA Matters facebook group

Great Ormond Street Hospital advice for parents of vulnerable children and young people – useful practical advice on shielding for a child.

Resources for young people – specifically about shielding and social distancing and developed with input of children/young people.

Information for Wales

Guidance for professionals (nothing MSK specific)

Children and young people to be removed from shielding list (25/08/21)

COVID-19 High risk shielded patient list identification methodology (note different methodology for rheumatology from England and guidance below contains more up to date list)

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19). (updated 11 June 2021). Shielding in Wales is paused. – contact your local authority

Information for Scotland

Guidance for healthcare professionals

Shielding advice (updated 8 October)

Information for Northern Ireland

Shielding advice