Advice and guidance for shielded patients
From 6 July:
- You may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing;
- You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household;
- In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, you may from this date, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time. the guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable will be relaxed to allow shielded individuals to meet up to 5 people from other households outdoors, socially distanced, and to form support bubbles if they live alone or are a lone adult with a dependent under 18.
From 1 August:
The advice to ‘shield’ will be paused. From this date, the Government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.
- You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe;
- Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing;
- You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing; and
- You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing.
- The food and medicine boxes facilitated by the National Shielding Service will stop as of 1 August as individuals are advised they can visit shops and pharmacies. However, other forms of support – such as priority supermarket delivery slots and the NHS Volunteers Scheme, amongst a range of local volunteer schemes – will continue. If an individual is concerned about support after 1 August, they should contact their local authority.
- The categorisation of ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will remain in place and people in this cohort should continue to follow the guidance specific to them. After 1 August we will continue to maintain the Shielded Patient List. We will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much, we may need to advise this group to shield again.
- Shielding guidance has been and continues to be advisory.
- Everybody in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ categorisation will be written to from today outlining these steps.
All the latest information and guidance is available on the gov.uk website here
Children (0-18) and shielding – 6 July update
The majority of children who have been previously identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will no longer need to shield.
Does my child need to continue shielding?
Children should continue to shield until 31 July. From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will be paused so clinically vulnerable people of all ages will no longer need to be advised to shield.
Children will only be removed from the shielded patient list by their GP or specialist doctor following consultation with the child and their family. Specialists and GPs will be asked to contact children and their families to discuss this over the summer. Families do not need to take any immediate action. We expect these consultations to happen over the summer.
Children who are removed will not be advised to shield again if government guidance on shielding is changed in the future.
If your child is transitioning to adult services before 31 July, you should have a discussion with their current and future specialist to determine whether your child should continue shielding.
GPs and specialist clinicians have been informed of the changing guidance.
Why is this changing?
The original shielded patients list was intended to identify people with conditions that put them at highest clinical risk from Covid-19, based on the evidence available at the time. It was developed early in the outbreak when there was less evidence and data on the groups most at risk from Covid-19.
Specialists in the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) have looked at the most recent evidence specific to children and developed specific guidance. The Chief Medical Officer and senior clinicians have reviewed the guidance and are confident in their findings and advice.
The latest evidence shows that risks to children are low and only those with a certain medical conditions are likely to be advised to shield if shielding needs to be reintroduced in the future.
Can my child return to school/nursery?
Children should continue to shield until 31 July. From 1 August, following the pausing of guidance, children will be able to return to school or nursery in line with their peers and school terms.
Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) guidance here
Shielding guidance: here
Education guidance: here
Mental health and well-being advice: here