Coronavirus (COVID-19) Shielding advice

Easing of guidance for people who have been shielding

From Saturday 1 August, Government advice for people who have been shielding is changing and you are no longer advised to stay at home.

This means that you are able to spend more time outside of your homes and take the first steps to begin to get back to normal life. This includes taking part in more activities such as visiting shops and places of worship.

You are still advised to take particular care when out of your home, and strictly maintain social distancing. 

What do we mean by shielding?

Until now if you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, you will have been strongly advised to stay at home to avoid contracting the disease, as there was an increased risk of needing hospital treatment if you became unwell.

Why is the guidance changing?

As the transmission of COVID-19 in communities has reduced, the government has now updated its guidance for people who are shielding, and the risk is considered lower.

This means:

  • the government will be no longer advising you to shield by staying at home
  • the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care made available for the last few months will have final deliveries this week
  • NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food, prescriptions and essential items bought by shielded people if it is still needed
  • people who have been shielding will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you have registered by 17 July) and you may be able to arrange for continued medicine deliveries with your local pharmacy
  • if you still need support getting food and essentials, and have no family or friends, our Here2Help portal is still available

What does this mean for me?

If you feel able to, you can now to return to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure, which means that your employer has taken the necessary steps and risk assessments to reduce the risk of infection for employees. You may also be able to work from home, you can discuss this with your employer. You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise, always keeping 2 metres away from other people wherever possible.

Does this apply to children?

Children will only be removed from the shielding list by their GP or specialist doctor after discussions with the child and their family. If your child is no longer required to shield, they can return to nursery or re-join their classmates in the new school year.

Around 2.2 million people fall within this category in the UK and includes both children and adults of all ages.

In Worcestershire approximately 20,000 people have been shielding.

Website: Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 from GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Updated guidance on shielding including information on the clinical risk to children and young people:

COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable (opens in new window)