New guidance for patients who are shielding

You will have seen that the Government has updated the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid 19 and have been advised to shield. The update from Government comes into effect from today. In summary the changes are:

  • The advice for people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable is that they should continue to shield until at least the 30 June but from 1 June, they can spend a short period of time outdoors each day with members of their household, still maintaining 2m distance from others.
  • If the shielded person lives alone, the Government is advising they can meet one other person from a different household, maintaining strict social distancing. The advice is that this be the same person each time.
  • Important aspects of Government’s policy and guidance remain the same. Apart from going outside once per day, a shielded person should continue to avoid all non-essential face to face contact. This means they should still not go shopping or to pharmacies.
  • The support for shielded people remains in place and unchanged.

The Government has also confirmed that it will be reviewing shielding guidance alongside wider changes to social distancing, including plans to write to those on the shielding patients list with information about next steps on shielding after the next review on 15 June.

Employers can refer to the guidance on the Government website for staff who are currently shielding, this can be found in section 2.2 here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Government guidance to help employers and employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19