Date Published: 10 July 2020
Rutland County Council is advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to take note of changes to the government’s COVID-19 guidance around ‘shielding’.
Anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 has been advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep interactions with people to a minimum. This is called ‘shielding’, and the government is currently advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield until 31 July 2020.
The government has made some changes to its guidance for people who are shielding because transmission of COVID-19 in the community has gone down. The changes came into effect on Monday 6 July and mean that:
- People who are shielding no longer need to socially distance from the people they live with
- They can meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from other households
- If they live alone, they can also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household
Importantly, the government has confirmed that people who are shielding will still receive support with food, care and medicine deliveries up to 31 July. After the 31 July, government food parcels will cease and people are advised to register for a priority supermarket delivery. This will only be allocated to those who have registered online by Friday 17 July
“The government has indicated that it will soon pause shielding, while recognising the need to keep this under regular review. We have been working closely with local communities and volunteer groups to make sure individuals and families who are shielding get the support they need. From the 1 August, people who have been shielding will be able to visit shops and return to work. However, it is still important that they continue to observe social distancing of two meters, avoid crowded spaces and always practise good, frequent hand washing. We know that many of these people will not have left home for several months. It is understandable if they feel worried or anxious but our social care teams are standing by to help.”
Councillor Alan Walters, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health
From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly. If there is a significant increase in risk levels in the future, the government will again write to all patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable setting out any changes to advice before they are made.
Shielding advice may also be revised in Rutland in the event of a local outbreak, such as the one currently being addressed in Leicester.
Ahead of further changes to shielding guidance, Rutland County Council’s RISE team will be making contact with all those who are currently receiving government food parcels, to check that they have registered for a priority supermarket delivery slot or have plans in place for the end of July.
The Council also continues to operate a dedicated COVID-19 helpline for anyone who has questions or concerns about the virus, or needs urgent assistance. Anyone in Rutland who is shielding and would like to speak to someone about support or the latest changes to government guidance can call: 01572 729 603.
The helpline operates from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4.30pm on Friday.