Coronavirus: shielding paused

From 1 August, people most clinically at risk from coronavirus are no longer advised to shield.
man coronavirus shielded cambridgeshire help

Updated 4 August 2020

After months of shielding at home, thousands of people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who are most at risk of coronavirus - are no longer required to self-isolate. 

The Government says people in England do not need to shield at the moment because rates of transmission in the community have fallen significantly.

Instead the advice is to adopt strict social distancing and minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.  

However, if transmission rates rise in your community, you could be advised to shield again.

Shielders' names will be kept securely listed by NHS Digital and the government will write to you and advise you to stay at home and shield if necessary. 

What has changed

  • you do not need to follow previous shielding advice
  • you can go to work as long as the workplace is Covid-secure, but should carry on working from home wherever possible
  • clinically extremely vulnerable children should attend education settings in line with the wider guidance on reopening of schools and guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings
  • you can go outside as much as you like but you should still try to keep your overall social interactions low
  • you can visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops, while keeping 2 metres away from others wherever possible or 1 metre, plus other precautions
  • you should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and that you maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace
  • you will no longer receive free food parcels, medicine deliveries and basic care from the National Shielding Service

You will still be able to get

  • local volunteer support by contacting your local authority
  • prescriptions, essential items and food you buy delivered by NHS Volunteer Responders
  • priority slots for supermarket deliveries if you previously registered for free food parcels.

Read the guidance

Tell us about your experiences of NHS and social care services,

NHS and social care staff are doing everything they can to keep us well during these challenging times, but there might be things that can be improved. Your feedback can help services spot issues that are affecting care for you and your loved ones.

Tell us your experience

Will there be changes to the support I receive? 

Food and medicine boxes facilitated by the National Shielding Service have stopped as everyone can visit shops and pharmacies.  

Other forms of support – such as priority supermarket delivery slots and the NHS Volunteers Scheme, amongst a range of local volunteer schemes – will continue.

Cambridgeshire County Council have got more guidance on their website about what support will be available once shielding is paused.  

Find out more

Am I still classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable? 

Yes. The categorisation of ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will remain in place and people in this group should continue to follow the guidance, available here

Will I be told to shield again?

After 1 August the Government will continue to maintain the Shielded Patient List. The Government will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much, you may be advised to shield again. 

Shielding guidance has been and continues to be advisory. 

Government Guidance

The Government website has updated guidance, including an Easy Read version and language translations, for people who have been shielding.

Find out more

Staying safe outside your home

How services are changing because of Covid 19

Read our advice and guidance on coronavirus and find out how services are changing to meet people's needs. 

Find out more