A survey conducted by Disability Horizons has found that nearly 60% of people feel really anxious about the easing of lockdown restrictions, and 49% feel the same about the changes to the shielding guidelines. Read on to find out what the new shielding guidelines are, discover more about what disabled people really think and read first-hand experiences from people who have been shielding.
After the relaxation of some lockdown rules in June, the start of July saw parts of the UK being able to do even more in a bid to move toward a new ‘normal’.
The lockdown changes included the reopening of many museums, restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and other amenities, as well as people being allowed to meet up more and even stay overnight at each other’s houses.
The Government has also set out steps to relax shielding guidelines for people who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable.’
What are the changes to the shielding guidelines?
From Monday this week (6th July 2020), the Government advised that people shielding in England:
- may meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
- no longer need to observe social distancing from other members of their household
- can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you are a single adult (over 18) living alone. This is also the case if you are a single parent with dependent children. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. This is the same as guidance for all of England.
It has also advised that children who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should continue to shield at home until August, and that you should talk to your paediatric specialist or GP before stopping doing so.
From 1st August 2020, the Government will be pausing shielding in England and instead advising people to adopt strict social distancing. This means you will be able to:
- go to work, as long as the workplace is Covid-secure – but carry on working from home if you can
- go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise, but you should maintain strict social distancing.
It does also assert that you should, “Stay at home as much as you can and continue to take precautions when you do go out.” This includes washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face and keeping two metres away from people outside of your household or bubble wherever possible.
Children who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ can attend school when their peers do.
Scotland changed its shielding guidelines from 10th July 2020 and plans to also pause shielding on 1st August 2020.
If you’re unsure whether you’re in the ‘clinically vulnerable’ or ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ groups, visit our full guide to shielding and isolating.