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Shielding is when you are at an extremely high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and are told to avoid doing certain things. For the second lockdown, the advice for people shielding is different. These people must take extra precautions. Who has to shield in second lockdown?
Who has to shield in second lockdown?
If you are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable, you are at a very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
You may have been added to the shielded patients list by your GP, or you have one of the following conditions:
Solid organ transplant recipients
- Those with specific cancers:
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- People having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- Those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Those with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- Those on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- Adults with Down’s syndrome
- Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
- Pregnant women with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely Vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions
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What do clinically extremely vulnerable people have to do?
People who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable must follow extra precautions.
When it comes to socialising, the national rules state that you can only gather with those you live with or those in your social bubble.
You may also meet one other person from another household outdoors.
This applies to the clinically extremely vulnerable people, but the Government advises doing so “as safely as possible”.
This means keeping all contact with others to a minimum and staying at home as much as possible.
Everyone is strongly advised to work from home where possible
If you are clinically vulnerable and can’t work from home, you shouldn’t work at all throughout lockdown.
Those you live with can still attend work if they can’t work from home, as long as they aren’t clinically extremely vulnerable themselves.
Most children who were originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to follow the advice because new evidence shows that there is a very low risk of children becoming unwell from COVID-19.
This means that only children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable shouldn’t attend school for the time being.
Children who are well but live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable should still attend school.
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Clinically extremely vulnerable people should avoid non-essential travel, whether that’s by private or public transport.
You can still go to the hospital and GP appointments, but shouldn’t travel to work, school or to the shops.
Instead, vulnerable people should shop online or ask others to shop for them.
If you need medicine, you should ask someone else to pick it up for you.
This could be a friend, family member, volunteer, or NHS Volunteer Responder.
Carers or visitors who support you or children or young people in your care can continue to visit.
However, they must follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required.
If you are vulnerable and have COVID symptoms, you should arrange to have a test sent to your home or maybe visit a test site at a quieter time.
You can register for support here.
This online service can give you access to a priority supermarket delivery slot.
It can also help you to tell your council if you need extra support to follow the guidance.
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