Shielding reintroduced for clinically extremely vulnerable people

5 January 2021

Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people are being advised to follow shielding advice following new national lockdown measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 4 January 2021.

The shielding advice for those in the CEV category is the same as was in place during the second national lockdown in November. They are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments.

CEV people 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 are encouraged to always try to do so as safely as possible.

They are advised to work from home. If they cannot, they are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA), or Universal Credit.

NHS England Primary Care Director Dr Nikki Kanani told GPs that those at highest risk, and advised by the Government to shield, are eligible for support including free delivery of medicines where friends, family or local volunteers are unable to provide help.

The Government is writing to all patients on the CEV list to inform them of the guidance. The letters emphasise the importance of CEV individuals continuing to engage with the NHS, and confirm that they will be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccination in advance of the general population as per cur-rent Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) guidance.

Patients for whom the NHS holds an email address will receive the letter via email to avoid the issue of postal delays.

The updated document, Guidance on Shielding and Protecting People who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable from COVID-19, is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19.