On Wednesday 15 September 2021, the government agreed to end the requirement for people previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable and will not be advised to shield again.
This decision has been made due to:
- more information and research available on the COVID-19 virus
- the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme
- the emergence of proven treatments.
The government asked vulnerable people to shield at the start of the pandemic as an intervention to protect those most at risk from catching the virus becoming seriously ill. However, the advice given was extremely restrictive and resulted in significantly impacting on some peoples mental and physical wellbeing.
This decision will allow individuals to manage their own health conditions, with support from their health professionals.. The government will continue to re-evaluate the situation accordingly and will provide guidance to keep those who are most vulnerable safe.
Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “I would urge everyone else to follow the guidance and continue with the precautions that make you feel safe".
Those previously on the shielded patient list will receive a letter from the government in the coming days to inform them of this decision.
Read the press release from the department of health and social care for further information.