As of Sunday 20 December, the country has moved back to a tiered system of local restrictions.
Linked to these tiers, the Government has now reinstated its guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people – setting out the additional things people at the highest risk from COVID-19 are advised to do to keep themselves safe for each tier. If you are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this and may have been advised to shield in the past.
Currently, clinically extremely vulnerable people in England, living in Tier 4 areas are advised to follow shielding advice. No other areas (tiers) are currently advised to shield.
Some of the key differences in Tier 4 guidance compared to other tiers are as follows:
- Shielding support has been reinstated for clinically extremely vulnerable people living in Tier 4 areas, which will be made available from local councils and community pharmacies. This includes support for shopping and medicines delivery. You can sign up for support here
- If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work. If your employer can’t adjust your role to work from home, then a number of financial support options are available, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
Please read the updated Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 here.
In Scotland shielding has not been re-introduced but the country will be under Level 4 restrictions from the 26 December. Information on what this means for people who were shielding can be found here.
The NHS will contact you directly if you are affected by these updates. If you think you should be added to the Shielded Patient list, or have any concerns we would encourage you to contact your GP or hospital clinician.
Have any questions? Call or email us for support and information.