To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to consult clinically extremely vulnerable groups on the introduction of new covid-19 guidance on shielding.
Previous shielding advice helped protect those most at risk from COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic, but many people told us they found this advice very restrictive. The new protective guidance is designed to offer practical and proportionate advice to help people protect themselves and minimise the need to introduce restrictive ‘shielding’ advice. This reflects the latest advice from senior clinicians, based on our current understanding of the virus. We continue to engage with a Shielding Working Group of over 30 charities and patient groups representing people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
It is important that guidance and support to the clinically extremely vulnerable balances the risk of exposure to the virus with the potential negative consequences of shielding for a prolonged period.