The guidance will be tied into the new local COVID alert levels framework, meaning those at the highest risk of serious illness from the virus will receive specific advice depending on the level of risk in their local area, as coronavirus rates continue to rise.
The clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those with conditions affecting:
- The immune system
- Certain cancers
- Organ transplant recipients among others
The government feels this new advice will help this higher risk group better protect themselves from the virus, without needing to follow more restrictive shielding guidance.
Those in exceptionally high-risk areas may still be advised to adopt formal shielding in the future, including to stay at home, not go to work or school and limit social interactions to their own household and support bubble.
If shielding advice is reintroduced in their area, they will also be eligible for a support package – including food access support, medicines deliveries and any additional care or support required. They may also be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or Employment and Support Allowance
The press release can be found here.
The updated COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable guidance can be found here.