FROM this weekend, those who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need shield themselves at home.
This means they can take the first steps to begin to get back to normal life, although people are advised to take particular care when out of the home, and strictly maintain social distancing.
From this Saturday, August 1, Government advice for people who have been shielding is changing and they are no longer advised to stay at home.
Why is the guidance changing?
As the transmission of Covid-19 in communities has reduced, the government has now updated its guidance for people who are shielding, and the risk is considered lower.
The government is no longer advising vulnerable people to shield by staying at home.
The National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care made available for the last few months will have final deliveries this week.
NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food, prescriptions and essential items bought by shielded people if it is still needed.
People who have been shielding will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if they have registered by July 17) and may be able to arrange for continued medicine deliveries with their local pharmacy.
If people still need support getting food and essentials, and have no family or friends, Worcestershire County Council’s Here2Help portal is still available on www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help
What does this mean for me?
If people feel able to, they can now to return to work, as long as the workplace is Covid-secure, which means the employer has taken the necessary steps and risk assessments to reduce the risk of infection for employees.
People may also be able to work from home, if agreed with their employer. They can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise, always keeping two metres away from other people wherever possible.
Does this apply to children?
Children will only be removed from the shielding list by their GP or specialist doctor after discussions with the child and their family. If your child is no longer required to shield, they can return to nursery or re-join their classmates for a new school year.
Dr Kathryn Cobain, director for Public Health in Worcestershire said: “We are aware of how hard it has been in recent months, for those who are shielding.
“Shielding has protected you and others and the health and social care system, and we are very grateful to everyone who has played their part in keeping us all safer.
“The relaxation of the rules means that people who have shielded can plan to spend time with wider family and friends and be more active, however, there are still things you should do to keep yourself and others safe.
“People with serious underlying health conditions should follow social distancing recommendations, keeping 2 meters away from other people outside your home and, whenever possible, limit the number of people you meet, shops you visit, and non-essential journeys.”