People with serious heart and circulatory diseases who have been shielding from the coronavirus (Covid-19) in England have been advised that they can spend more time outside their homes from Monday, July 6.
The Government announced today that 2.2 million people in England classed as clinically extremely vulnerable will be able to spend time outdoors in a group of up to six people, including those outside of their household, while maintaining social distancing.
Those who are shielding and live alone, or are single parents with children, will also be able to create a “support bubble” with one other household of any size.
From Saturday, August 1, the guidance will be relaxed further in England so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield. People in this group will keep priority supermarket delivery slots, and the Government has said they will still be able to access help with food shopping and medication. However, food and medicine boxes will be stopped.
The Government has advised clinically extremely vulnerable people to continue following strict social distancing measures. However, from August 1, they will be able to visit shops and places of worship. The relaxing of guidance applies to England only.
Meanwhile, people in this group may be asked to return to work if they are not able to do so from home, as long as their workplace adheres to Government guidelines to protect them from Covid-19.
John Maingay, our Director of Policy and Influencing, said: “Lockdown has been an incredibly challenging time for people with serious heart and circulatory conditions who have been shielding from Covid-19 in England and may have gone months without going outside, or seeing close family or friends.
“While some will benefit mentally and physically from the end to shielding, it may also cause concern for people with serious heart and circulatory diseases due to their increased risk of developing complications from the virus.
“As lockdown gradually eases and people return to normal life, the Government must produce clear guidance for all clinically vulnerable people to ensure they can access support, continue to get food and medicines and stay safe. Meanwhile, those asked to return to work must be told how they, and their jobs, will be protected.
“With the ending of food and medicine boxes from 1 August, it is vital that no-one is left without the support they depend on and that people are made aware of alternatives that could help them.”
Published on the BHF Website on 26th June 2020. Author : Imogen Blake