From Saturday 1 August, shielding guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable will be paused across England.
This means those who have been shielding over the course of the pandemic will no longer be advised to do so, and can begin to go back to work and school as long as the sites are COVID-secure.
People will also be able to go outside as much as they like, and visit supermarkets, pubs and shops, with social distancing guidelines still strongly advised.
The latest scientific evidence shows that the average incidence across the country remains lower now than the point when the decision was made to proceed with the pausing of shielding nationally. This has allowed for the relaxation of the guidance.
However, the easing of restrictions will not apply for those currently shielding in:
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Blaby and Charnwood
- Leicester City
The government has written out to those living in these areas who are affected setting out the advice that applies locally.
For those living in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, the government and relevant local authorities are acting together in a preventative approach to control the spread of the virus and to stop transmission from increasing further. At this stage our advice is that those living in these areas no longer need to shield from 1 August in line with national guidance (with the exception of Blackburn with Darwen).
Where incidence and transmission rates are of concern, we can take a more targeted approach to shielding advice (at Local Authority level). This means that there may be different advice in place in different areas of the country.
The government will write out to those affected when advice is changed and are working closely with Local Authorities to ensure that local guidance is available on Council websites.