Last updated: 3 July 2020
We are committed to supporting the most vulnerable in our community as well as providing critical services that still need to be available for groups including older people, those who need safeguarding and those in receipt of benefit payments.
Those that are shielding because they are clinically extremely vulnerable and have been written to by the Government or the NHS must continue to do so. This means you must stay at home, do not go to work and do not have visitors to your home.
What is changing?
The Government has announced it will further relax its shielding advice in two stages on 6 July and 1 August.
From 6 July:
- You may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
- You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
- You may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance
From 1 August the advice to ‘shield’ will be paused. This means:
- You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch COVID-19, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing
- You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe
- You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise
If you have symptoms of the virus or live with someone who does, you must stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. This will prevent you from spreading the disease to your family, friends and the wider community.
In practical terms, this means that you must:
- stay at home
- not go to work, school or public areas
- not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis
- avoid visitors to your home
- ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you - such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping
Adult Social Care Service Delivery
Some of our non-critical council services are still closed to help prevent the virus from spreading and to protect the safety of residents and our staff. We are working to ensure that our most vulnerable residents can currently continue to receive the same level of care as they did previously.
Our day service and private day services remain closed and we are supporting those individuals affected with packages of care and support. We are reviewing when these will open in light of the new Government guidance.
Home care and residential care
The council and NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working together with health care providers. Together we have put in place support for the most vulnerable people who live in residential and nursing homes and for vulnerable people who live at home and receive regular care. We are also supporting home care providers to help them continue to provide high quality care and keep their residents safe.
As part of our risk assessments, we are undertaking calls with our most vulnerable service users. This is to ascertain whether they present with any symptoms of COVID-19 before we undertake any visits.
All providers, carers and health workers are following Government guidance in relation to COVID-19. This includes using personal protective equipment (PPE), following hospital discharge guidance and residential home guidance. Staff have been advised about what protection they may need to wear when providing care. This is to protect themselves and you.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, friends and families have also been asked not to visit those in residential care settings at this time.
Support in the Community for Vulnerable Adults
A community hub is available to support the most vulnerable in the community and those self-isolating and being shielded during these unprecedented times. More information is available on our How can I get help? page.
Our health services are returning to normal and if you need medical help, the NHS is here for you at all times.
You can still contact your GP practice for advice or to arrange an appointment either by phone or online.
If you are told to go to hospital, you must go. You should continue to attend your appointments. In line with government guidance visitors and outpatients must wear a face covering or face mask when they attend University Hospital Southampton (UHS) sites.
Visitors who attend and wear their own face covering should continue to wear these during their visit. Those visitors without their own face covering will be given a surgical mask to wear for the duration of their visit.
It is essential that face masks are worn correctly, not touched when on and changed when required.
You can still contact 111 online or call 111 for help - and if it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.