Coronavirus and cancer – June updates

  • 31 May – Shielding advice updated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • 29 May – UK nations begin to ease lockdown restrictions
  • 28 May – UK nations launch test and trace systems 
  • 27 April – NHS campaign urges people to get help if they need it
  • 21 April – Urgent cancer referrals fall across the UK
  • 21 March – Shielding measures introduced to protect people at high risk of COVID-19
  • See previous coronavirus and cancer updates from May or March and April.

We’re monitoring the latest government and NHS health updates from across the UK and updating this blog post regularly as new guidance emerges.

4 June – Scottish Government publishes plans to get cancer surgery back on track

The framework aims to help hospitals resume cancer surgery and ensure services are delivered safely, efficiently and sustainably during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes information about prioritising treatment and minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmissions.

2 June – Risk of death confirmed to be higher for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups

Public Health England (PHE) has published a report showing that the impact of COVID-19 mirrors existing health inequalities and has increased them in some cases. Although not yet fully understood why, the effect of coronavirus is disproportionate for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, who are at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

Age was another risk factor confirmed by the review, with figures suggesting that people aged 80 or over with coronavirus were seventy times more likely to die than those under the age of 40. The report also references several studies that indicate an increased risk of adverse outcomes in people who are obese or morbidly obese.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said that that he felt a “deep responsibility because this pandemic has exposed huge disparities in the health of our nation”, BBC News reports. Hancock also said the Equalities Minister will now take forward a review on this, working closely with PHE.

1 June Over 2 million people waiting for cancer screening, tests and treatments

New figures have revealed the disruption to cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 2 million people in the UK are waiting for cancer screening, tests and treatments since lockdown began, according to calculations by Cancer Research UK.

Visit our previous blog posts for coronavirus and cancer updates from May or March and April.


If you have questions about cancer, you can talk to our nurses Monday to Friday, 9-5pm, on freephone 0808 800 4040.

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