Support for clinically extremely vulnerable residents
The government has advised that shielding is to be paused nationally from 31 March 2021.
This means that, as of 1 April, you no longer need to shield. You do need to continue to follow the rules in place for everyone under national restrictions to stay safe.
You should continue to wash your hands carefully and regularly and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and workspace.
What these changes mean for you
Leaving the house
You do not need to follow previous shielding advice, but you may still be at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, even if you have received 2 doses of the vaccine, so please continue to follow all current guidance.
You can visit supermarkets and pharmacies. You may wish to go at quieter times of the day. Take precautions when you go out by following the current guidance about meeting outdoors. Keep 2 metres away from people outside of your household or support bubble and remember to wear a face covering unless exempt.
Children on the shielded patient list are advised to return to school or college. Households of school and college staff and pupils, including those who attend a nursery or childminder, should have regular lateral flow tests using home kits.
Everyone over the age of 16 years can now have their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Children under 16 years of age are not currently recommended for vaccination against COVID-19. However, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that some groups of children should be offered vaccination. Read more about who can get the coronavirus vaccine on the NHS website.
You should still work from home if you can, but if that is not possible, you can return to the workplace. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work.
From 1 April you will no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on the basis of being advised to shield.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) has been extended until 30 September.
If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership you may be eligible for support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
Help from the Bracknell Forest Community Response
The Bracknell Forest Community Response is made up of a network of volunteers and run in partnership with The Ark Trust.
They can help with things like:
- food shopping
- collecting prescriptions
- dog walking
- information and advice
Contact the Bracknell Forest Community Response by:
- email: email@example.com
- phone: 01344 266911 between 8am and 8pm
You will need to pay for this shopping - it will not be free - but the service itself is.
Support after shielding leaflet
You can download a copy of our advice leaflet which will be sent out to vulnerable residents.