Published on: Wednesday 4th November 2020

Shielding And Protecting People Who Are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable from COVID-19 - Latest Government Guidance

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 31st October that from 5th November to 2nd December, new national restrictions in England would be introduced, specific guidance for people considered clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 has been published.

The guidance will become effective from Thursday 5th November and can be accessed in full here

Clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments. People are being urged to continue to seek support from the NHS and other health providers  for existing health conditions and any new health concerns. 

Other key points:

  • People in this group may wish to meet up with one other person from outside their household or support bubble, for example, to exercise in an outdoor public place, but it is suggested that they always try to do so as safely as possible.
  • People in this group are strongly advised to work from home. If they cannot work from home, they are advised to not attend work for this period of restrictions.  People in this situation may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.  Letters are being sent to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable which may act as evidence in accessing this support.   
  • Most children originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to follow this advice. People should speak to their GP or specialist clinician, if they have not already done so, to understand whether their child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.
  • People in this group should avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport. This includes not travelling to work, school, the shops or pharmacy. They should ask others to collect and deliver e.g. medicines and shopping - seeking support from friends, family, or a volunteer, including NHS Volunteer Responders.
  • These new measures will apply nationally for 4 weeks up to 2 December.  
  • Other people living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable are not advised to follow this guidance.

NHS Volunteer Responders can help with shopping and medicines delivery, as well as a regular, friendly phone call and transport to and from medical appointments. Anyone needing help should call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm to arrange support or visit NHS Volunteer Responders.

The Department of Health and  Social Care will be writing letters to everyone currently on the Shielded Patient List (SPL) to make them aware of the new guidance. These are expected to arrive with patients from mid-week this week.