Shielding updates in England and Northern Irelan... - MPN Voice

MPN Voice
5,706 members7,845 posts

Shielding updates in England and Northern Ireland (24th June 2020)


The government has announced changes to the shielding guidance in England and Northern Ireland. This is based on evidence that fewer people are now infectious, meaning that it is much less likely you will be exposed to the virus.

From 4th July 2020, those shielding will be allowed to meet in groups of up to 6 people outside, including those from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing. People shielding will no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of their household. People shielding will also be able to form a support bubble, if they are in a single adult household.

Lifting of shielding:

Shielding guidance will be lifted altogether in England and Northern Ireland from the end of July. From 1st August 2020, people who are currently shielding should adopt strict social distancing measures instead.

From 1st August 2020, food and medicine boxes from the National Shielding Service will stop. However, people who were on the shielding list will still be able to benefit from priority supermarket slots, services provided by NHS Volunteer Responders and other local volunteer groups. volunteering.royalvoluntary...

From 1st August 2020, people shielding can go into work, if they cannot work from home, but only if their workplace is COVID-safe and they can keep a safe distance from others.

What is a COVID-safe workplace?

The government has issued a series of comprehensive advice documents concerning making a workplace safe. These are available here :

We would advise you to open a dialogue with your employer.

What will happen next?

Everyone who is currently on the shielding list in England and Northern Ireland will receive a letter outlining these new changes. People on the shielding list might be advised to shield again if there is an increase in Coronavirus cases.

If shielding is needed again it is possible that different advice will be issued based on estimates of risk and individual risk factors such as age, gender, etc, as well as disease type and treatment.

Going outside, sending children to school etc

The decision to go outside is yours. If you do decide to go out, for now, the best ways to protect yourself are to:

• keep the number of visits outside to a minimum (the government recommends once per day)

• go on your own, or with members of your household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household (this should ideally be the same person each time)

• go outside when there are fewer people around, such as early in the morning

• ideally spend time in open areas

• always keep a distance of 2 metres from other people

• wear a face mask or face covering

• do not share or exchange personal belongings (such as cups) with other people

• avoid going into enclosed spaces, as well as shops and other buildings

• spend as long as you feel comfortable outside

To help you to get used to being outside more, you may want to try short trips outside or spend time in the company of friends, relatives or neighbours.

The support bubble plan for people in England and Northern Ireland does not currently apply to people shielding, or those who live with them.

The extended household plan in Scotland does not apply to people shielding.

24 Replies

Received my letter today. 😊

in reply to piggie50

Me too

Thanks for the update Maz.

Have been working from home since lockdown started and the update answers some of my questions regarding working practices after shielding is paused at the end of July.

wish stayed in England the 31st July seems an eternity away that is how long we are to shield in Scotland then our first minister will take a decision either make it longer or relax it a bit

stay safe Maz

your Scottish Terrier

Thanks for the helpful summary, Max.

I have received my letter from .gov - I shall stay shielded at home until 1st August - or even longer, except for hospital visits. I still feel that it would be too risky to go back to a normal life after August in case of a second wave of the virus.

Could I ask if anyone is considering having cleaning help back in their homes yet ( masked and gloved, not using public transport) ? Or perhaps next August? I am exhausted!!!

Love to all SkipperL

in reply to skipperL

I’ve just re- started having cleaning help. I just stayed out the way!! Felt fantastic when it was done - a real boost and a glimpse of life pre-covid! 😀

in reply to Eadaoin

That sounds wonderful! I am so tired of cleaning basins etc - although my 86 year old husband is quite good at hoovering ( under protest). I think I will wait until the beginning of August before having anyone in the house - and cleaning g skirting boards is better than ‘bend and stretch!‘

I work in primary school and my fears are being confirmed with social distancing being scrapped in schools in September. How will that be Covid safe for me to return? I’ve looked at government guidance, but nowhere does it mention shielding staff in primary education.

in reply to Hayley2011

hi Hayley, this is obviously a concern for you and others who are returning to work in schools, you need to discuss your concerns with the school once details have been announced by the government regarding pupils returning to schools and what measures schools will need to put in place. Best wishes, Maz

in reply to Hayley2011

Hi Hayley 2011. I also work in a primary school and I cant see how no matter what procedures are in place in the setting we can properly social distance. I am with 4 and 5 yr old children who for one dont really understand social distancing and two are often very close to you throughout the day. I very much want to be back to work for the new term but I dont see how it will be a Covid safe environment which the guidelines say should be to be able to return to work.

I am waiting on the new letter from Gp to see what their guidelines are for returning to work.

Hope you are well


in reply to mjfin72

Hi Mandy,

I only got my first letter in May so not holding out much hope it will arrive anytime soon. I’ve already had email from Head stating classrooms are going back to normal!! I’m trying to stay positive as the email was sent to all staff but like you am fully aware we will have no ability to distance ourselves from children. Whom have older siblings at other schools etc so opens up an array of people that is worrying when for the past 4 months have been in household bubble and for me that is just my husband. I totally feel like we are completely overlooked and forgotten about 😬

Best wishes and stay safe

Hayley x

in reply to Hayley2011

Hi Hayley

That's worrying that your classrooms will be back to normal. The plan for our school is split groups until Halloween to keep numbers low in class but even then it's no guarantee as you say its who they come into contact with outside of their classroom bubble.

Having said that things can change so quickly and all the plans in place now could be different down the line.

If I was concerned before about returning to work I am even more so now. I just started on Peg interferon last friday and had a tele review this morning and my neutrophils are very low so have to be extremely cautious to avoid infection. I hope that over the next few weeks they start to stabilise as I wean off Hydroxy which I've been on for over 2 yrs otherwise I would be very reluctant to go into school setting never mind with the added risk of Covid.

If there is any info in the new letter that will help you I can let you know.

Take care


in reply to mjfin72

Hi Mandy

I have now received my letter, thank you.

I hope you’re doing well with the change of meds. Always a worrying time. I have been on Anagrelide for 7 years and at times changing meds has been mentioned, but thankfully not materialised.

It sounds like your school management team are trying their best to safeguard. Mine on the other hand sent an email stating we can all return now if we wanted too!!! I can foresee some issues going forward.

Stay safe

Hayley xx

Greetings from Fleetwood England.

Letter dropped through the post yesterday. I am stopping in till September.

Each day is a bonus.

I choose this for me.

Nothing else matters.

Not in a rush to bubble, sit inside for a coffee or go to a pub or shopping.

It took me three months to train hubby to order what I need.

Going back to how it is now is more of a headache.

I wish others well.

Take care.

Me too thanks for sharing Maz. I am pleased I can get online shopping still. When we had full lockdown I could actually go out one a day but since the rules have been relaxed its too busy. I have bought a filter mask though so will maybe try to get up early wearing that to go out.

Thanks for Sharing Maz.

Love the fact in the government advice for workplaces there is no info on healthcare settings, presumably as can never be truly 'COVID secure'. Feel completely in limbo as likely will carry on doing remote telephone consultations as GP at home, but then expected back on ward at the hospice whilst home schooling-fun and games!

Good luck everyone.

I have been living in a bubble for the past few months. Just before lockdown we had booked a family holiday in Rome (5 days at the start of August). Now it's getting closer I'm having to think about whether I can actually go without putting myself or the family in any danger

I flip between 'no way' and 'it will be OK' and I haven't even tried to get any holiday insurance yet!!!

I’ve had my letter but don’t think I’ll be going anywhere as I live in Leicester..!! 😱

Ouch! If I were you I'd go somewhere other than Leicester for a month or two!

I hope i get the answer i want from this question!! After august 1st can I have my grandaughter to stay overnight? Im not sure I've read the advice correctly

Thanks for keeping us up to date

My letter says: ( I precis somewhat)

"From 6 July...

in line with guidance for single adult households etc. etc. you may form a support bubble with one other household. All those in the the support bubble will be able to spend time in each other's homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance."

I'd read that such that having your grandaughter with you overnight - including hugs - is fine from Monday onwards.



Does that apply even though I’m not a single family household?

Thank you so much for your quick reply. Half the time I think I should be wrapped in cotton wool and the other half thinks I could go to the pub tomorrow🤣😂

I must admit having post ET MF Makes me possibly over cautious


The bullet point says 'in line with the guidance for single adult households' So yes, I take that to mean any household. You might want to forego the hugs but you then have to explain that to the grandaughter.

Round my way, any pub I'd want to go to isn't opening up yet anyway - my preferred watering hole has a super garden so perhaps in a week or so I'll sally forth. Got to take the plunge sooner or later but balanced caution is my mode at the moment.


You may also like...