From Thursday, 1 April, guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable is changing in line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown and a cautious easing of restrictions over coming months. Shielding is coming to an end, and updated advice covering socialising, travel and going to work and school has been issued for people on the shielded list. However, while those who were formerly shielding can begin to follow the national restrictions alongside the rest of the population, they are being strongly urged to observe social distancing, stay at home as much as possible and take extra precautions to keep themselves safe.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, the Government has issued practical steps to help minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19:
- Limit social interactions, including mixing with other households.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing.
- Continue working from home if possible. If you cannot work from home, you should now attend your workplace. Your employer is required to take steps to keep you safe at work.
- Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils and students should return to school or other educational settings.
- If you have already registered for priority access to supermarket delivery slots, this will continue until 21 June. If you need to register for support, you can do this online - the deadline is 31 March.
- Continue to access the NHS services that you need.
Guidance for those who are currently shielding has also been issued about the COVID-19 vaccination:
- If you are aged 16 or over, you should already have been offered your first dose of the vaccine. If you have not yet received your first dose, please contact your GP.
- If you have received your first dose, make sure that you get your second dose when it is offered to you, to further increase your level of protection. Even if you have had your vaccination, you should continue to take extra precautions to stay safe.
- For children aged 12 to 15 years, vaccination may be appropriate for those with severe neuro-disabilities. This option should be discussed between parents/guardians and the child’s clinician or GP
- For other children aged 15 or under, vaccination is not yet recommended.
After 31 March, if you are struggling as a result of coronavirus please visit www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support or call the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline on 0333 370 4000 (calls charged at local rate). You can also request a call-back from the Helpline by completing the call-back request form. The Helpline is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Further guidance on the end of shielding is available on Gov.uk