Get help if you are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19). These are people with serious underlying health conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The Government is strongly advising these people to follow shielding measures to keep themselves safe.

Shielding update

The guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable has been updated in line with what was announced on Monday 22 June 2020. You are no longer advised to shield, and you can now visit shops, places of worship and other venues. You can return to work if your workplace is COVID-secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible.

You should maintain social distancing wherever possible and adopt other measures to keep yourself safe, such as regular hand washing.

The government will write to those affected when advice is changed. You can check if there are local measures in your area.

Advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.

Is this safe?

The guidance has been updated in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of the clinically extremely vulnerable in mind. Current scientific evidence indicates that average incidence rates across the country are lower now than when the decision was made to pause shielding.

The Government will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much, you may need to shield again. Your name will be kept on the Shielded Patient List held by NHS Digital so the Government can write to you if this happens. 

Returning to work

You should continue to work from home if you can. If this is not possible, your employer should take steps to make your workplace is COVID-secure. 

Find out more about safety measures in your workplaceFor example if you work in a supermarket, you can read the 'Shops and branches' guidance.

If your employer cannot make your workplace COVID-secure, they can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for those who have been furloughed for a three-week period prior to 30 June, until the end of October.

If you are concerned about your safety at work, talk to your employer and look to come to an agreement. For example, you could discuss staggered working times or taking on a different role. You can get advice on your specific situation and employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling their helpline, 0300 123 1100.

Support

In line with what was announced on Monday 22 June 2020, the Government provided food boxes and medicine deliveries have now stopped. However, there are a number of ways you can still access support.

Supermarkets and other retailers are continuing to offer priority delivery slots for the clinically extremely vulnerable, as well as telephone ordering and food boxes to help the most vulnerable shop for themselves.

The NHS Volunteer Responders Programme will continue providing support with food, prescriptions and essential items to those who are self-isolating for any reason. You can contact them by calling 0808 196 3646 or by visiting NHS Volunteer Responders website.

If you are still concerned and need help, you should contact your local authority. You can also find out what support services are available in your area by using the GOV.UK search tool.

If you're in this group and need urgent support

Please contact our Community Hub:

If you don't currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered

You can arrange this by:

  • Asking someone who can pick up your prescription to do so from the local pharmacy
  • Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) to deliver it to you. You can find your local pharmacy online