COVID-19: Shielding Information
The UK Government has set out a roadmap for the clinically extremely vulnerable on the future of the shielding programme.
For now, the guidance remains the same - stay at home and only go outside to exercise or to spend time outdoors with a member of your household, or with one other person from another household if you live alone - but the guidance will change on 6 July and again on 1 August clinical evidence.
Shielding and other advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.
What are the changes?
Recently, the UK Government advised that you can spend time outdoors, if you wish, with your own household, or if you live alone with another household. Following this, and alongside current scientific and medical advice the UK Government is planning to relax shielding guidance in stages.
From 6 July, the guidance will change so you can meet in groups of up to six people from outside your household - outdoors with social distancing. For example, you might want to enjoy a summer BBQ outside at a friend's house, but remember it is still important to maintain social distancing and you should not share items such as cups and plates. If you live alone (or are a lone adult with dependent children under 18), you will be able to form a support bubble with another household.
From 1 August, you will no longer need to shield, and the advice will be that you can visit shops and places of worship, but you should continue maintaining rigorous social distancing.
Why is the guidance changing now?
The roadmap has been developed in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of those who are shielding in mind. Current statistics show that the rate of catching coronavirus in the community continues to decrease. On average less than 1 in 1,700 in our communities are estimated to have the virus, down from 1 in 500 four weeks ago.
Unless advised otherwise by your clinician, you are still in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' category and should continue to follow the advice for that category, which can be found here.
The UK Government will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spread too much, we may need to advise you to shield again.
Support offer explainer
If you are in receipt of Government provided food boxes and medicine deliveries, you will continue to receive this support until the end of July.
What support is available to people who are shielding until the end of July?
There are a number of ways that those who are shielding can access food and other essentials:
- Make use of the supermarket priority delivery slots that are available for this group. When a clinically extremely vulnerable person registers online as needing support with food, their data is shared with supermarkets. This means if they make an online order with a supermarket (as both a new or existing customer), they will be eligible for a priority slot.
- Please use our food and general goods information page.
- A free, standardised weekly parcel of food and household essentials. If you have registered for this support online before 17 July you will continue to receive weekly food box deliveries until the end of July.
- If you need urgent help and have no other means of support, request Coronavirus support from Mendip District Council.
- For anyone facing financial hardship, find help with Council Tax, Benefits and other financial support