Heart transplant receiver’s concern over early lifting of Covid restrictions for vulnerable people

This week the prime minister announced that he intends to lift all Covid restrictions a month earlier than originally planned.

Boris says he plans to scrap all remaining restrictions by the end of this month (February) and it has come with mixed emotions for many who have been shielding throughout the pandemic.

Kaylee Davidson-Olley from Sunderland was the first baby in the UK to have a successful heart transplant in 1987.

She contracted a virus at 4 months old that destroyed her heart.

She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a condition that means her heart muscle couldn’t pump blood effectively around her body, and had to be on life support.

Because of this Kaylee is extremely vulnerable to Covid, and during the last two years she's shielded.

Kaylee said: “As soon as this eases as people are just going to let go and think oh we’re not living in a pandemic anymore, because to me that’s not the case, this is here for the long run and it’s not going to go away.

“We’ve put out life on hold and we’ve been through a lot to survive.”

Her worry is that the end of isolation rules might make life harder for her and other clinically vulnerable people.

Alison George is a GP in Newcastle, and says the proposal isn't being guided by the science.

Alison said: “This is extremely irresponsible and dangerous in particular for people who are vulnerable for whatever reason.

"It’s certainly not following the scientific evidence and it’s certainly not public health as I understand it - it is the very opposite.”

A government spokesperson said: “We have been clear throughout the pandemic that due to their impact on lives and livelihoods, measures will only be in place as long as they are necessary.“Thanks to the success of our booster programme, we are now seeing positive trends in the data.“As such, the Prime Minister has set out his intention to end restrictions but has also urged people to remain careful and considerate of others.”