The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that coronavirus COVID-19 infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks. This guidance remains advisory.

People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but may now choose to leave their home, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, you may do so with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.

From 6 July, people who were shielding:
• can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing;
• are no longer required to observe social distancing with other members of their household; and
• can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.

From 1 August, people who were shielding:
• are no longer required to shield and instead are advised to adopt social distancing and to minimise contact with anyone outside their household;
• are able to return to work – if working from home is not an option – on the proviso that the workplace is COVID-19 safe; and
• are able to go and buy food, visit places of worship and exercise whilst maintaining social distancing.
• Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable are able to return to school.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19