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Shielding the most vulnerable

Information about shielding, a measure to protect extremely vulnerable people.

Protecting the most vulnerable Lewisham residents

People who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ are considered to be at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 due to their underlying health conditions. Find out which health conditions are included in the clinically extremely vulnerable group.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, all clinically extremely vulnerable people were advised to take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with the virus, such as staying at home at all times and avoiding any face-to-face contact. This is known as ‘shielding’.

Current shielding advice

The Government has advised that clinically extremely vulnerable people do not need to shield at the moment. This means that you:

  • Are not required to follow previous shielding advice, although you can choose to do so if you wish
  • Can go to work as long as your workplace is COVID-secure, but should carry on working from home wherever possible. If you need support to work at home or in the workplace, you can apply for Access to Work.
  • Can go outside as much as you like and visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings in September

Clinically extremely vulnerable people should still try to keep their overall social interactions low and are advised to follow strict social distancing, hand washing and other hygiene measures.

Find more information about changes to shielding advice.

Support with food and other essential items

Some support for clinically extremely vulnerable people, such as the weekly food parcels provided by the Government and the free pharmacy delivery service, came to an end on 31 July.

However, you will still receive priority slots for supermarket deliveries if you registered before 17 July. You can also contact NHS Volunteer Responders if you need help to get your shopping, prescriptions or other essential items. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to request volunteer support.

We will also continue to provide local support to clinically extremely vulnerable people until the end of August.

If you are in urgent need, please contact us:

Guidance on shielding in other languages

The Government has produced guidance for shielding vulnerable people in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh.