Last reviewed 8 July 2020
The Government has agreed to adopt recommendations made by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), which will see a majority of children removed from the Covid-19 shielding list.
As shielding guidance is being relaxed from 6 July and paused from 1 August, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has agreed to remove the majority of children from the shielding list, based on recommendations published by the RCPCH that showed the "risk of serious illness for children and young people is low”.
Children and young people should continue to shield until July 31 when shielding is paused for everyone in England. However, when the shielding list is updated, there could be 90,000 children who no longer need to shield, according to England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries.
Most children who were first identified as clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer be considered to be at highest risk, in particular those "who are cared for just by their GP", including those with conditions such as asthma, diabetes, kidney disease and epilepsy.
There is, however, a small group of children who receive specialist care in hospitals who, the DHSC said, "may need to carry on shielding following a consultation with their doctor", including "those receiving cancer care or those at risk of severe infection due to an immunodeficiency".
GPs will be required to use a new risk algorithm when updating the shielding list, ahead of a potential second Covid-19 spike, and GPs and specialists will be expected to consult children and young people over the summer to decide on their future shielding status.
Also, from 6 July, shielding people can go out and meet up to five friends in a socially distanced way.