What are the new lockdown rules for those shielding and who is considered vulnerable?

VULNERABLE people shielding from the deadly coronavirus have been set free.

From August 1 the Government put the brakes on its shielding advice.

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Since the lockdown started in March, millions of vulnerable people were asked to stay at home and avoid any contact with others.

In July they were given the all-clear to meet up to six people outdoors while observing social distancing with those from different households.

Anyone who lived alone were allowed to form a "support bubble" with one other household, meaning they could spend time with each other inside their homes.

And the shielding policy was paused as of August 1…for now.

What are the new shielding lockdown rules?

If you have been shielding, you no longer have to follow the shielding advice.

You can go into work provided the workspace is covid-19 secure – but everyone is still being urged to work from home if they can.

You can go outside as much as you like, although it is still recommended to keep social interactions low.

Clinically vulnerable children canreturn to school if they are eligible and meet their friends again.

It is possible to go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – always maintaining strict social distancing.

The new rules mean that you will no longer receive free food parcels, medicine deliveries and basic care from the National Shielding Service.

Local authority volunteers and NHS Volunteer Responders will still be on hand to help, and you can get priority delivery slots.

The government has said the guidance remains indicative and, while people who have been shielding will be able to enjoy more freedoms, it is important to remember they continue to remain vulnerable.

But it is unclear how long these freedoms could last as the Government may tell millions of over 50s to shield from the virus.

Boris Johnson told his team to prepare a set of measures to avoid shutting down the country and Brits aged between 50 and 70 could be given personalised risk ratings.

Who is considered vulnerable?

The list of people considered vulnerable includes:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with cancer who are having chemo
  • people with lung cancer having radical radiotherapy
  • people with blood cancers – leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma – at any stage of treatment
  • people having immunotherapy or other antibody treatments for cancer
  • people having targeted cancer treatments that affect the immune system – protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors for example
  • people who've had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months or who are taking immunosuppression drugs
  • people with severe respiratory conditions like cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and COPD
  • people with rare diseases and inborn errors of the metabolism that increase the risk of infections – SCID or homozygous sickle cell for example
  • people on immunosuppression therapies that increase the risk of infection
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

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