Today the Government is rolling out advice to all those who have been shielding for months to let them know that from April 1 those on the shielded patient list an begin to follow the same national restrictions as everybody else.
All clinically vulnerable are still advised to take appropriate precautions including social distancing, regular handwashing, limiting household mixing and wearing a mask when shopping or on public transport.
From today letters will be issued to all shielding patients with advice setting out practical steps they should continue to follow. Work can resume but guidance remains in place to work from home if possible – this is likely to cause a little contention with some employers/employees but we will all have to adapt to change as restrictions begin to ease. Priority shopping slots will stay in place until June 21.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, said:
Shielding has always been an advisory measure to safeguard those who are the most clinically vulnerable in our communities. We recognise how difficult this period has been for so many and the impact it has had on people’s wellbeing.
With the prevalence of the virus in the community continuing to decrease now is the right time for people to start thinking about easing up on these more rigid guidelines.
If you have been shielding, we strongly urge you to take extra precautions following 1 April to keep yourself as safe as possible, such as continuing to observe social distancing and working from home.
We will continue to monitor all of the evidence and adjust this advice should there be any changes in infection rates.
More than 9 in 10 people on the clinically vulnerable list have had at least one dose of the vaccine, hopefully helping to protect them as they reintegrate. The Government will continue to monitor the situation but hopefully this will mean a lot more freedom and a lot less restriction for thousands of people all over the United Kingdom.
You can view all of the guidelines online at: