From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly.
This means that the government will no longer be advising you to shield. The support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care will stop, though NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food you buy, prescriptions and essential items to you if you need it.
Shielding people will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you have registered by 17 July).
However, you need to remain aware that you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so stay at home as much as you can and continue to take precautions when you do go out. You can do this by washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face and keeping 2 metres away from people outside of your household or bubble wherever possible.
From 1 August, you’ll be advised you could go out to more places and see more people, for example, the advice is:
- you can go to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure – but carry on working from home if you can
- children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can go back to school (when the rest of their class goes back)
- you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – keeping 2 metres away wherever possible
Obviously, we all need to make the correct decisions for ourselves. In the following article, a leading member of the scientific community looks at the growing evidence that mask wearing is something we should all be prepared to do in certain circumstances.