STOPPING SHIELDING: How to stay safe when shielding ends
South Tyneside advises residents what to do if you or someone you know is about to stop shielding.
People identified as at greater risk of serious illness from coronavirus are advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves as Government restrictions begin to ease.
The Government has announced that clinically extremely vulnerable people, as well as those additional people recently identified as being ‘at risk’, will no longer be advised to ‘shield’ from 1 April, as infection rates and hospitalisations continue to fall.
Residents on the national Shielded Patient List – more than 13,300 of which are in South Tyneside – will be receiving letters from the Government outlining the updated guidance and setting out the practical steps that they can follow to reduce their risk of catching the virus. This includes maintaining social distancing measures and keeping overall social contacts to a minimum, such as continuing to work from home where possible.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We know that these shielding measures and periods of lockdown have been difficult for residents. Shielding has been in place to help safeguard the most clinically vulnerable in our communities. From 1 April, those residents who had been advised to shield, can now begin to follow the national restrictions alongside the rest of the population.
“It is important to remember that coronavirus still poses a risk in our communities. Therefore, we are urging our vulnerable residents to continue to follow the national rules and take the extra precautions, as set out in the guidance, to help keep themselves as protected as possible.”
Over the course of the pandemic more than 3.79 million people in England have been advised to shield at some point. With the success of the UK’s vaccination programme, more than nine out of 10 clinically extremely vulnerable people have received their first dose.
South Tyneside’s Covid-19 Community Support Hub will continue to support those clinically extremely vulnerable people, who may need to self-isolate, live on their own and have no other means of support, such as family, friends or neighbours, to help with access to essentials like food.
Residents registered with the National Shielding Support System (NSSS) www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support can continue to get priority access to supermarket delivery slots until 21 June.
Anyone who is isolated in South Tyneside without any mean of support can call the Covid-19 Community Support Hub on freephone 0800 028 2955, from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).
For further information about South Tyneside Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including further details about the Covid-19 Community Support Hub, visit the Council’s website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/coronavirus
Details of the current national restrictions are available on the Government website at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
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