Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
07 August 2020
Advice for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
The guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable has been updated in line with what was announced on Monday 22 June. You are no longer advised to shield and you can now visit shops, places of worship and other venues. You can return to work if your workplace is Covid-secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible.
You should maintain social distancing wherever possible and adopt other measures to keep yourself safe, such as regular hand washing. More information on how to keep yourself safe can be found here.
However, local advice may vary where incidence rates and transmission are a concern. The government will write to those affected when advice is changed. You can check if there are local measures in your area here.
Advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.
Is this safe?
The guidance has been updated in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of the clinically extremely vulnerable in mind. Current scientific evidence indicates that average incidence rates across the country are lower now than when the decision was made to pause shielding
We will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much, we may need to advise you to shield again. Your name will be kept on the Shielded Patient List held by NHS Digital so the Government can write to you if this happens.
Returning to work
You should continue to work from home if you can. If this is not possible, your employer should take steps to make your workplace Covid-secure. You can find out more about safety measures in your workplace by searching here, for example if you work in a supermarket, you can read the ‘Shops and branches’ guidance.
If your employer cannot make your workplace Covid-secure, they can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for those who have been furloughed for a three-week period prior to 30 June, until the end of October.
If you are concerned about your safety at work, talk to your employer and look to come to an agreement. For example, you could discuss staggered working times or taking on a different role. You can get advice on your specific situation and employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline, 0300 123 1100
In line with what was announced on Monday 22 June, the Government-provided food boxes and medicine deliveries have now stopped. However, there are a number of ways you can still access support.
Supermarkets and other retailers are continuing to offer priority delivery slots for the clinically extremely vulnerable, as well as telephone ordering and food boxes to help the most vulnerable shop for themselves.
The NHS Volunteer Responders Programme will continue providing support with food, prescriptions and essential items to those who are self-isolating for any reason. You can contact them by calling 0808 196 3646 or by going online here.
If you are still concerned and need help, you should contact your local authority. You can also find out what support services are available in your area by using this search tool: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-local-help
If there are local measures in your area
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and live in an area where there are enhanced public health measures, you should follow the guidance on your local council’s website. If you don’t know what your local council is, you can check here.
If the enhanced measures require you to resume shielding, the government will write to you with detailed guidance.
This guidance will always be advisory.