COVID-19: UK Coronavirus rules relaxed for autistic people and people with learning disabilities

Date: 1st May 2020
Category: General principles

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The changes by UK Government allow autistic people or people with learning disabilities to leave their home more than once a day, travel beyond their local area if this is important to their health and have carers who do not have to stay two metres away.

Going outside for exercise is important to the health and wellbeing of both autistic children and adults. National Autistic Society has received reports from autistic people that they have been stopped by the police for going out with their carers or challenged by members of the public for going out too often.

The guidance implemented by UK Government to curb the COVID-19 pandemic failed to adjust to the needs of those with learning disabilities and autistic people. This was challenged by lawyers who were asked by two families with autistic children for help. The lawyers argued that this was an ‘inflexible policy’ which disproportionately impacted those with certain health conditions and was therefore “unlawful and discriminatory”.

The official guidance has subsequently been amended by UK Government.