Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from April

More than 3.79 million clinically extremely vulnerable people in England will be informed they are no longer advised to shield from Thursday 1 April 2021.
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  • Advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable to shield ceases from Thursday 1 April, as virus infection rates continue to fall
  • People on shielded patient list will receive letters with updated guidance on steps people can take to reduce their risk
  • More than 9 in 10 clinically extremely vulnerable people have been vaccinated with a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

In line with the government’s COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 roadmap published last month, those on the shielded patient list can begin to follow the national restrictions alongside the rest of the population, but are still advised to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe from COVID-19.

Letters to patients with updated guidance will be arriving over the next 2 weeks. These set out practical steps people can follow to reduce their risk of catching the virus, including continuing to maintain strict social distancing and to keep their overall social contacts at low levels, such as working from home where possible.

The move follows the steady decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations across the country for the last couple of weeks.

Senior clinicians, including the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, have recommended that shielding advice is paused nationally from 1 April onwards, as supported by the latest scientific evidence and advice.

With the success of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, more than 9 in 10 clinically extremely vulnerable people are now vaccinated with their first dose, but it’s still important people continue to follow the national rules and take the additional precautions set out in the guidance to keep themselves as protected as possible.

Local councils and supermarkets will continue to provide support for those shielding until 31 March. If people have already registered for priority access to supermarket delivery slots, they will continue to be able to access these until 21 June 2021.

You can read the full Government announcement on shielding here

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