Blood donation sessions are still happening during lockdown, with additional Covid-19 health rules in place to keep donors and staff safe.
During the first lockdown, a fifth of blood donors did not attend their donation appointments - but NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said it was "vital" for fit and well donors to stick to their sessions to maintain blood stocks.
The next session in Peterborough is December 7, after the lockdown restrictions are supposed to ease across England, but NHSBT has reminded donors that blood donation is classed as "essential travel" regardless of restrictions in place.
Su Brailsford, associate medical director at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "It’s vital for patient care over the winter months that donors keep attending sessions.
"We recognise that in order to do this they want to feel safe and that is why safety is our top priority. Giving blood now is as safe as it’s always been and all sessions are Covid-secure.
"No one with symptoms can come inside because of triaging on arrival and inside donors are spaced apart, and wear face coverings to avoid asymptomatic people spreading the virus. On the whole donors tell us these new steps put them at ease.
"We’ve seen a fantastic response from donors so far in the pandemic and thanks to their generally high rates of attendance blood stocks have remained good.
"These next few weeks and months will be critical for hospitals and it’s vital people know that our doors remain open as normal and that travelling to donate is essential travel because it helps the NHS. Blood donation is one of the ways you can help the NHS at this time."
Temperatures will be taken from donors on arrival and people are asked to only come into the session at their appointment time to help to maintain social distancing. If people do arrive early, they may be asked to wait nearby - outside, or in their car - to avoid crowding.
Face coverings are mandatory for donors.
Anyone exhibiting coronavirus symptoms in the 28 days prior to the appointment is asked not to attend. Appointments can be rescheduled for 28 days after the symptoms have ended. If a donor has tested positive for Covid-19 and shown symptoms, they must wait for 28 days from the resolution of these symptoms; if a donor has tested positive and not had symptoms then they must wait 28 days from the date of the positive test.
Those who have been asked to self-isolate, or who live in a household where people are self-isolating, need to wait at least 14 days from the first day of isolation and to be sure they have no symptoms before attending a donation appointment.
For more information about the Covid-19 health rules for blood donors, or to book an appointment, see blood.co.uk.