What the latest updates on shielding mean for you
Last week, as part of the easing of lockdown measures, the government announced changes to the guidance for those who have been shielding. These steps will come into effect on Monday 6 July, and Saturday 1 August.
We’ve broken down what the new guidance means for you.
Who is advised to ‘shield’?
People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with COVID-19.
This is called ‘shielding’.
If this applies to you, then you should have received a letter advising you to shield, or have been told by your GP or hospital clinician.
For more information about who has been advised to shield, visit the NHS Digital website.
What’s new on 6 July?
It is important to note that people who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions.
But, from Monday 6 July the guidance now states that:
- you may meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining social distancing
- you no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
- you may 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.
When will shielding be stopped?
It will still be important to adhere to strict social distancing, but there will be no need for full shielding measures. ‘Strict’ social distancing means that you may go out to more places and see more people, but that you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.
- This will mean that:
- Unless we see a significant rise in cases in the coming weeks, from 1 August the government will be advising that shielding is paused.
- Read more on support bubbles.
- you can go to work (if you cannot work from home), but only if the business is COVID-safe
- children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings
- you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship, and for exercise, as long as you maintain strict social distancing.
If you have been receiving food boxes or medicine deliveries, you will continue to receive this support until the end of July should you wish.
We will continue to update you on the latest government advice on COVID-19, but do check the gov.uk website in the first instance for the most up-to-date information. The NHS website has detailed information on symptoms and what to do if you or someone in your household shows signs of COVID-19 symptoms.
1st July 2020