Coronavirus: Disease Control

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th November 2020.

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Photo of Kate Osborne Kate Osborne Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to ask clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield again in areas with additional covid-19 restrictions in place.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Shielding was paused on 1 August 2020 in England and clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable people are now required to follow the same local/national arrangements in place as the rest of the population.

Only when the balance of benefit is clear, or in extreme circumstances, will shielding be reintroduced due to the potential harms to people’s mental and physical heath through social and financial isolation.

The highest risk local areas are discussed regularly each week to assess what level of guidance is appropriate. Where incidence and transmission rates are increasing, we can take a more targeted approach to shielding advice at local authority level. The Government will write to those affected when advice is changed and we continue to work closely with local authorities to ensure that local guidance is available on their websites.

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