Important update for those shielding - Government announcement - 22 June 2020

In March 2020 the government wrote to 2.2 million people deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 with advice to strictly self-isolate or shield for at least 12 weeks or until further notice.

On 22 June 2020 guidance was relaxed in line with the latest evidence to come into force in two phases, 1 July and 1 August.

Further advice was published on the government website https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-to-ease-guidance-for-over-2-million-shielding

In summary for people living in England:

  • From 6 July:
    • People shielding may choose to meet in groups of up to six people, including those from different households – outdoors with social distancing.
    • People shielding who live alone (or are single parents with children) can form a “social bubble” with another household including staying overnight
  • From 1 August, advice will relax further:
    • Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield allowing those to do more, such as visit shops and places of worship, but you should continue maintaining rigorous social distancing and minimise contact with others outside their household.
    • Clinically extremely vulnerable people who cannot work from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is Covid-secure
    • The government’s shielding support package will remain in place until the end of July. Thereafter support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils. People will retain priority supermarket delivery slots and will still be able to access help with shopping, medication, phone calls and transport to medical appointments

We encourage any patients that are currently shielding should continue to review their own individual risk to decide how much they want to relax these restrictions. The government continues to advise social distancing guidelines along with frequent handwashing.

We are continuing to support some shielding patients who require our ongoing care. This may be delivered in a different way or in a different place than you are used to. Those patients requiring blood tests via the shielding hubs (located in community venues) should continue to attend appointments until further notice. We recognise that you may be anxious about relaxing some restrictions after more than three months of shielding and if you have any specific concerns or need advice please speak to your GP or specialist.


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