People who are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable may be at high risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19). They have been advised to take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with COVID-19 when transmission of coronavirus in the community is high.
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you’re strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep interactions outside to a minimum. This is called ‘shielding’, and the government is currently advising people to shield until 31 July and is regularly monitoring this position.
This guidance is government advice. It’s not the law. This guidance will be kept under regular review.
This advice is of a general nature and should be treated as a guide. This does not replace any local public health measures put in place to protect the local population. If there is an outbreak of COVID-19 within your area, please follow any guidance set out locally or any specific law which applies to the area you live in.
What changed on 6 July
The government has made some changes to its guidance for people who are shielding because the transmission of COVID-19 in the community has gone down. The changes from 6 July are:
- you no longer need to socially distance from people you live with
- if you want to, you can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from other households
- you may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you want to, but one of the households in the ‘support bubble’ should be a single adult household (either an adult living alone or with children under 18 only). You can all spend time together outside and inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance
- the government support offer has been extended: you can still get a food box, care and/or medicine delivery until 31 July if you want them, and have registered onlineby 17 July. If you have been recently advised to shield there is more information on the page below outlining on the support available to you below
- the latest evidence indicates that the risk of serious illness for most children and young people is low. All children and young people should continue to shield until 31 July. A clinical discussion with your paediatric specialist or GP will be needed before any child or young person is removed from the shielded patient list. Health services will be in touch with children and their families over the summer, ahead of the new school term, to discuss what the new evidence means for them personally in the longer term. Families, carers and young people do not need to make immediate contact
What will change from 1 August
From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly.
- the government will no longer be advising you to shield
- the support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care will stop
- NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food you buy, prescriptions and essential items to you if you need it
- you will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you have registered by 17 July)
You may still be at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so stay at home as much as you can and continue to take precautions when you do go out. You can do this by washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face and keeping 2 metres away from people outside of your household or bubble wherever possible and in any case at least 1 metre with protective measures in place.
From 1 August, you’ll be advised you could go out to more places and see more people, for example, the advice is:
- you can go to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure – but carry on working from home if you can
- children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can go back to school (when the rest of their class goes back)
- you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – keeping 2 metres away wherever possible and in any case at least one metre with protective measures in place
This guidance will be updated with these changes on 1 August.
For further information please visit this link