Devon mum recovering from cancer fears winter Covid spike

  • Watch Sam Blackledge's report.

A mum from North Devon who is in remission from cancer is asking the Government to remember people living with serious illnesses as they continue to map out the next steps in the fight against Covid-19.

This week, the Prime Minister ruled out an immediate return to mandatory face masks and other restrictions - saying he stands ready with a 'Plan B' if cases and hospitalisations continue to rise. 

Nicky says the Government should 'slow down' in its effort to release all Covid restrictions. Credit: ITV News

Nicky Hutchinson, who lives near Okehampton, was diagnosed with blood cancer but is doing well in her recovery.

"We seem to be doing the same thing over and over again," she said.

"We all want this to be gone, I want to be able to say it's over, I would be the first person to throw a party. But it isn't, you can legislate with a virus, you can't persuade it. Why are we still pushing forward?

"I think we just need to slow down. If I go into a shop and put a mask on it's not a big intrusion into my life. There's so much talk about our freedoms. We have our freedom."

Nicky is proudly outspoken on the rights of clinically vulnerable. But her candour has left her open to criticism, particularly on social media, some of which can be quite unpleasant.

"We're not crazy, we're not overreacting," she said.

"If you're diagnosed with cancer now, you almost have a double diagnosis. Ok, I've got cancer, I've got to deal with that, but I'm also vulnerable.

"There's no framework now, there's no recognition, there's no help. We've done 18 months of shielding and I personally am resigned to the fact that I'm going to catch this."

Read more: 'It's been terrifying' - mum with cancer fears shielding is ending too soon

Face masks and distancing could return - but not yet. Credit: ITV News

People in England are being advised to wear face masks in crowded places and meet outdoors where possible, the Prime Minister said, as he set out the Government's plan to tackle coronavirus throughout the winter.

Boris Johnson, speaking at a Downing Street press conference, said advice to work from home could return if the Covid-19 situation dictates, and face masks could be enforced through law if necessary.

He added that vaccine passports could be introduced for entry to large events, however he said Covid certification is not currently needed.

The Government has also refused to rule out any further lockdowns but said the tool would be kept only as a reserve, should the other measures not succeed in keeping down coronavirus infections.