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. gov.uk/guidance/meeting-peo...
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 : gov.uk/guidance/working-saf...
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. gov.uk/guidance/meeting-peo...
The extended household plan in Scotland does not apply to people shielding.