Take note of important changes to 'shielding' guidance

Release Date: 15 July 2020

Vulnerable residents are reminded to take note of changes to the Government’s COVID-19 guidance around ‘shielding’.


Anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 has been advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep interactions with people to a minimum. This is called ‘shielding’, and the government is currently advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield until 31 July 2020.

The Government has made some changes to its guidance for people who are shielding because transmission of COVID-19 in the community has gone down. The changes came into effect on Monday 6 July and mean that:

  • People who are shielding no longer need to socially distance from the people they live with
  • They can meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from other households
  • If they live alone, they can also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household 

Importantly, the Government has confirmed that people who are shielding will still receive support with food, care and medicine deliveries up to 31 July.

After the 31 July, Government food parcels will cease and people are advised to register for a priority supermarket delivery. This will only be allocated to those who have registered online by Friday 17 July.

Register here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

Cllr Piers Allen, Chair of the Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Services Committee for Richmond Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“If you’ve been contacted by the NHS and advised that you need to shield and have not yet registered, please think about doing so, whether you need help at the moment or not.

"Registering will allow you to access priority supermarket delivery slots, which may be useful to you in the coming weeks and months. To access these slots, please make sure you tick the box which asks for help with accessing essential supplies when you register.

"If you have missed this deadline and need help or  support when shielding stops please contact the council on 0208 871 6555 or email adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk"

From 1 August, the Government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly. If there is a significant increase in risk levels in the future, the Government will again write to all people who are clinically extremely vulnerable setting out any changes to advice

Ahead of further changes to shielding guidance, Richmond Council will be making contact with all those who are currently receiving Government food parcels, to check that they have registered for a priority supermarket delivery slot or have plans in place for the end of July. 

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P286/20

Updated: 12 October 2020