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Confused by who should be shielding and should you have a letter and if so where do you get one?

The UK Government has sent out letters to people they have identified as being at the highest risk of developing complications or dying should they contract coronavirus.

These people have been told they must shield for at least 12 weeks- that is remain at home and not leave their house or have face-to-face contact with anyone they don’t live with, and minimal contact at a distance from anyone they do live with. These people have been deemed “vulnerable” or “high risk”.

Not everyone who is “vulnerable” or “high risk” has had a letter- the system used is not perfect and so some people have been missed out. If you believe you have missed out and think you should not leave your house for at least the next 12 weeks because you have a medical condition that means you are at the highest risk of developing complications or dying if you were to contract coronavirus, you must register online.

There is a lot of confusion as to who is “vulnerable” or “high risk”- some people feel they should be shielding when there is no clinical reason that they are high risk, and some people feel they should not be shielding even though there are good clinical reasons to say they shoud.

If you do not fall into one of the categories that would make you “vulnerable” or “high risk” you do not need to shield, you can go out and leave your home and you do not need a shielding letter. You will not receive a letter and there is no way to have a letter issued to you unless your medical conditions change and you subsequently fall into one of these categories.

There is help and assistance and support available for you if you need it, if you are low, medium or high risk. There is a lot of press about people in the “vulnerable” and “high risk” groups being given priority delivery slots from supermarkets for shopping- if you are not in the high risk group and you need assistance, there is help out there. There is a large network of NHS volunteers, community support groups, social service teams and agencies who are helping people out- if you need help, let us know.

Have a look at our shielding FAQ for more information.

27 April 2020