What does the transition from lockdown mean if you’re shielding?

There’s no denying that we live in unprecedented times, and knowing what you can and can’t do has been disorientating. As lockdown measures change across the UK, what does this mean for you?

Moving into lockdown many people considered at high-risk of catching COVID-19 were asked to shield. This included the elderly, people living with a physical or learning disability, and others who are currently undergoing certain medical treatment.

The lockdown has eased at different stages across the UK, so we’re bringing you the latest lockdown information in your area.

You can get support with shielding and stay updated with the changes by calling the national COVID-19 helpline on 0800 111 4000

ENGLAND

On Monday (6 July) the UK Government made some changes to its guidelines and guidance for people who are shielding.

The changes included no longer having to socially distance from people you live with; you can meet a group of up to six people outdoors, including others from a different household; you can now also form a support ‘bubble’.

Support bubbles have been wildly celebrated in the easing of lockdown measures. A bubble allows you to join with one other household, if you want to, if you or a member of your bubble lives in a single household. 

The bubble means you can spend as much time together inside and outside, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. 

You can now get a food box, care and or medicine delivered until 31 July of this year. Make sure to register your interest in this service online by 17 July 2020.  

England is set to see further reductions in lockdown for people who are shielding on 1 August 2020. If the easing of COVID-19 transmissions continues to decrease people are expected to be told that shielding is no longer mandatory.

Due to the potential of shielding being removed, care packages and food parcels will also be stopped on this day. However, if you register by 17 July 2020, you will be eligible for priority shopping slots.

SCOTLAND

In Scotland, people are still being asked to shield until 31 July 2020.

The advice is for people shielding to stay at home as much as possible; avoid places that are indoors. However, you can now leave your home to meet with another household outdoors to be active but still stick to strict 2 metre social distancing.

Priority access to supermarket delivery slots, weekly grocery boxes, prescription delivery and access to cash will still continue in Scotland until 31 July 2020 when the shielding guidelines are expected to change. 

The Scottish Government has published their strategy and plan for people who are shielding on what they can expect when moving out of lockdown.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding – a way forward for Scotland details the importance of shielding and how we can all work together to ensure we live in a safe, healthy community. 

Having shielding for over 12 weeks, the plan promises to be clear and concise to ensure you are confident with the strategies in place to help your mental and physical wellbeing.  

WALES

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has advised that shielding should continue until the 16 August 2020.

In Wales, as of Monday 6 July, people who are shielding can also now form an extended household, or ‘bubble’.

You can continue to leave home to exercise or meet with others from another household.

Ensure you adhere to physical and social distancing of 2 metres.

NEXT STEPS

Although the lockdown is easing, it’s important to know that you can continue to shield if you don’t feel comfortable going outside.

This has been a challenging time for everyone and you are entitled to take each day in a way you feel is safe for you.

Make sure to keep an eye out for our My Mental Health week coming soon, here you can get further advice on looking after your mental wellbeing in and out of lockdown.

How has shielding affected you? Let us know on social media to share with the #EnableCommunity, TwitterFacebook or Instagram.