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Changes to the shielding population from 1 August

The Government recently announced they were relaxing shielding measures in stages. Shielding guidance changed and moved to the next stage on 1 August.

If you need urgent help and have no other means of support, contact our community hub - see our Get help if you're self-isolating page.

The changes

Shielding is paused, you no longer need shield and can resume daily lifestyle activities such as visiting shops and places of worship, but you should continue maintaining rigorous social distancing.

Support that will be available

Understandably these changes may cause those affected some anxiety.

We have been doing everything we can to support you over recent weeks and continue to encourage you to self-help through the Locate website website and and existing services and support networks first and our community hub is available, if needed. See our Get help if you're self-isolating page.

Essential supplies

There are a number of ways that you can access food and other essentials.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people will continue to have access to priority supermarket delivery slots if you have registered for this support online before 17 July for a priority delivery slot.  

  • Make use of the supermarket priority delivery slots that are available. As a clinically extremely vulnerable person, when you register online as needing support with food your data is shared with supermarkets. This means if you make an online order with a supermarket (as both a new or existing customer), you will be eligible for a priority slot. 
  • Use the many commercial options now available for accessing food, including telephone ordering, food box delivery, prepared meal delivery and other non-supermarket food delivery providers.  Icon for pdf Food for vulnerable people - June 2020 (PDF, 200.0kb)
  • If you have been receiving free, standardised weekly parcels of food and household essentials, the last of these parcels will be sent out by 31 July.  

See our How to get food when you're self-isolating page for more information.

Health care

Any essential carers or visitors who support you with your everyday needs can continue to visit unless they have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell). 

You should continue to access the NHS services you need during this time. This may be delivered in a different way or in a different place than you are used to, for example via an online consultation, but if you do need to go to hospital or attend another health facility for planned care, extra planning and protection will be put in place. 

The updated shielding guidance should not affect any social care or support you were receiving prior to the start of shielding. You should contact Social Care Direct if you have any ongoing social care needs.  

Mental health support

It is normal during these uncertain and unusual times to feel anxious or feel low. See our Look after your mental health during coronavirus outbreak page for advice to help you stay calm and deal with anxiety and worries.

As part of our Community Hub, we have a Chat Together service if you are affected by loneliness that often comes with shielding and isolation. Our staff will be able to provide companionship, discuss interests, family stories and anything else that will hopefully brighten your day. See our Get help if you're self-isolating page for information on how to use the service.

If you feel you need to talk to someone about your mental health or you are looking for more support for someone else, we would urge you to speak to your GP and seek out mental health support delivered by charities or the NHS.

Income and employment support

People who have been shielding can return to work as long as the workplace is COVID-secure - but you can carry on working from home if you can.

The Government is asking employers to work with them to ease the transition back to a more normal way of life for their shielding employees. It is important that you continue to take careful precautions, and employers should do all they can to enable you to work from home where this is possible, including moving you to another role if required.   

Where this is not possible, you should be provided with the safest onsite role that enables you to maintain social distancing. 

If employers cannot provide a safe working environment, they can continue to use the Job Retention Scheme for shielded employees who have already been furloughed.  

See our Financial support during the coronavirus outbreak page.

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