Clinically Vulnerable residents no longer required to shield after 2 December

2 December 2020

Updated National guidance has been issued for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people following the announcement of the new national tiers.

This group of people have received a letter from their GP or the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, which advises them they are in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable group.  In many cases this may have meant that they were advised to ‘shield’ in the past and during the current national restrictions which come to an end today.

CEV people will receive another letter from Government this week advising them of the updated guidance.

The new guidance urges CEV people to take additional precautions on socialising, travel and going to work and school.

Unlike the guidance that has been in place since 5 November, the Government are no longer advising CEV people to stay away from work or school. However, they should continue to keep their number of social interactions low and try to reduce the amount of time spent in settings where it’s difficult or impossible to maintain social distancing. This might include gatherings with large numbers of people, especially indoors, because it significantly increases the risk. 

In future, the Government will only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the very worst affected local areas and for a limited period. This will only apply to some, but not all, Tier 3 areas and will be based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer.   CEV people will be written to directly IF they are to be advised to shield, but do not need to follow formal shielding advice again unless they receive a new notification advising them to do so.

Cllr Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council said, “We’d like to thank all the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people in the borough and across the nation who have been following Government guidance during this latest period of national restrictions. Whilst this has been an extremely difficult year for all of us, people in this group have had to learn to live with huge uncertainty and I’d like to pay credit to their strength and endurance.  The daily challenge of living with a complex health condition or medical need during a pandemic cannot be underestimated.

“We’re also urging CEV people to ensure their GP has the most up to date contact details, including your home address and, if possible, a personal email address, so that the Government can contact you quickly in the event that guidance changes in the future.”

If anyone (CEV or not) is required to travel into an area in a different tier (for example to go to work or school), you should follow the guidance for whichever area is in the higher tier. For example, if you live in a Tier 1: Medium area but work in a Tier 2: High area, follow the work advice for Tier 2: High. If you live in a Tier 2: High area but work in a Tier 1: Medium area, continue to follow the advice for Tier 2: High areas. 

NHS Volunteer Responders are also available to help CEV people with things like collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies and with transport to medical appointments. They can also provide a regular, friendly phone call which can be provided by different volunteers each time or by someone who was previously advised to shield and will stay in contact for several weeks. More information is available at www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk or you can call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm.

If a CEV person needs to register for support by phone, or has an urgent need, please contact Cheshire West and Chester’s COVID -19 helpline on 0300 123 7231 Monday to Friday: 8am until 7pm Saturday: 9am until 12.30pm or email enquiries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

You can also visit Coping with coronavirus (COVID-19) on Live Well Cheshire West.

Important advice to continue regular hand-washing, social distancing and mask wearing (hand, face, space)  remains in place for everyone alongside the special restrictions relating to the borough’s inclusion in Tier 2 (high alert) from Thursday 03 December.   You can read more on these restrictions on the GOV.UK website.

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