Those who are clinically vulnerable and have been shielding during lockdown are now able to spend some limited time outdoors.
The Communities Secretary made the announcement on 31st May. He confirmed those who were advised to shield at the start of lockdown can now take initial steps to safely spend time outdoors.
The updated guidance now states that a shielded person can go outside once a day.
They can do this with members of their household, or one person from a different household if they live alone. They must remain 2 metres apart from everyone else, and wash their hands on returning home.
Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health Worcestershire said: “If you are shielding, you may now go outside for exercise, if you are able to do so safely, and following social distancing measures.
It is important to remember though, that aside from this change, the rest of the guidance for shielded people remains the same. The changes are very cautious and are advisory only. I’d encourage anyone shielding, to only make the changes if they feel comfortable doing so.”
At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people were advised to shield until the 30th June. This meant not leaving the house at all and not having any non-essential contact.
These individuals are those most at risk of severe illness should they contract Coronavirus.
Around 2 million people fall within this category in the UK and includes both children and adults of all ages.
Apart from going outside once a day, shielded people should continue to avoid all non-essential contact and continue to avoid places such as supermarkets on pharmacies.
The support that is available for those shielded in Worcestershire such as childcare and food deliveries remains in place and is unchanged.
The updated guidance can be viewed in full on the gov.uk website.