Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding

From Monday 6 July, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household

Alongside being able to spend time outdoors in a group of up to 6 people including those outside of their household while maintaining social distancing, those who are shielding and live alone or are single parents with children will also be able to create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household of any size, following the same rules already in place for the wider population.

This comes as the latest scientific evidence shows the chances of encountering the virus in the community continue to decline, but the government is committed to continuing with the unprecedented package of support until the end of July to give those shielding time to adjust to these changes.

From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, but support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils. People will retain their priority for supermarket delivery slots, and still be able to access help with shopping, medication, phone calls and transport to medical appointments.

While this group of clinically extremely vulnerable people should continue to follow strict social distancing measures, they will be able to participate in more activities such as visiting shops and places of worship.

From 1 August, those who need to work and cannot do so from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is COVID secure, adhering to the guidance available.

Commenting, James said:

“I recognise how incredibly difficult this period has been for those shielding which has required them to not leave their house for months and to not meet any loved ones and I would like to thank them for all the tough sacrifices they made.”

“I am therefore pleased that a fall in infection rates has allowed guidance issued to the 2 million people shielding to be eased from Monday 6th July, while keeping people safe.”