What does it mean to be ‘shielded’?
People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with the coronavirus (COVID-19).
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. They should have received a letter advising them to shield or have been told by their GP or hospital clinician.
This includes clinically extremely vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities for the elderly or people with special needs.
People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but may now leave their home as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.
What is the current guidance for those on the shielded list?
Recently, the UK Government advised that you can spend time outdoors, if you wish, with your own household, or if you live alone with one person from another household, this should ideally be the same person each time. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping two metres apart. Following this, and alongside current scientific and medical advice the UK Government is planning to relax shielding guidance in stages.
From 6 July, the guidance will change so you can meet in groups of up to six people from outside your household – outdoors with social distancing. For example, you might want to enjoy a summer BBQ outside at a friend’s house, but remember it is still important to maintain social distancing and you should not share items such as cups,plates and cutlery. If you live alone (or are a lone adult with dependent children under 18), you will be able to form a support bubble with another household. You will also no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household.
From 1 August, the advice to shield will be paused, and the advice will be that you can visit shops and places of worship, but you should continue maintaining rigorous social distancing.
Why is the guidance changing now?
The roadmap has been developed in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of those who are shielding in mind. Current statistics show that the rate of catching coronavirus in the community continues to decrease. On average less than 1 in 1,700 in our communities are estimated to have the virus, down from 1 in 500 four weeks ago.
Unless advised otherwise by your clinician, you are still in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category and should continue to follow the advice for that category.
Government are continuing to monitor the virus over coming months and if it spreads too much, you may be advised to shield again.
What support is available for me?
If you need additional support or priority for supermarket deliveries please register online or call 0800 028 8327 before 17 July.
And if you do not have a support network of friends, family or neighbours who can help you, our dedicated COVID-19 resident helpline on 023 8083 4800 is open Monday-Friday (8.30-5.00) so give us a call.
Will I still get access to priority supermarket delivery slots?
Yes, if you have registered for Government support, priority supermarket delivery slots will continue beyond July if you have already signed up for support. To do this, please register online or call 0800 028 8327 before 17 July.