Updated shielding advice

Monday 1 June 2020

Parents have told us of their confusion over the sudden announcement on Saturday night about the updated advice around shielding for children and adults in England.

It is unfortunate that the announcement was rushed out, as this has understandably led to increased anxiety for many families.

It is important to stress that you should do what is best for your family, and what feels most safe and comfortable for you all. But here we summarise the updated guidance in England.

New advice

Children and adults who are listed as clinically extremely vulnerable are now allowed to go outdoors once a day in your household group. This should be done while maintaining social distance – keeping two metres apart – from others.

If you or your child is in the clinically extremely vulnerable group you will have received a letter from the government or been told by your GP to shield.

The updated advice for this group is:

  1. If you wish to spend time outdoors (though not in other buildings, households, or enclosed spaces) you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.
  2. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household (ideally the same person each time).
  3. You should stay alert when leaving home: washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings of any size.
  4. You should not attend any gatherings, including gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, parties, weddings and religious services.
  5. You should strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste or smell).

What to do now

If you decide to go outdoors try to pick a time of day when you are less likely to come into contact with others and if possible go to a quiet area.

If you have concerns or questions about this we would advise you to get in touch with your GP or medical professional.

Advice in Wales

Children and adults in Wales who have been shielding, can exercise outdoors from today (Monday 1 June).

They must stay two metres apart from others outside of their household. They can  meet people from another household outdoors while maintaining social distance, as part of an easing of some restrictions for the wider community announced on Friday.

Does not apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland

In Scotland and Northern Ireland the advice remains to stay at home, and the devolved governments in those nations will be reviewing their guidance on shielding soon.