The Government has issued guidance on how to treat people who are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and may be at high risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance continues to state they should take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with COVID-19 when transmission of coronavirus in the community is high.
If a colleague is clinically extremely vulnerable, they are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep interactions outside to a minimum. This is called ‘shielding’.
If there is an outbreak of COVID-19 within your area, you are advised to follow any guidance set out locally or any specific law which applies to the area you live in.
What changed on 6 July
The Government made some changes to its guidance for people who are shielding because the transmission of COVID-19 in the community has gone down. The changes from 6 July were:
- you no longer need to socially distance from people you live with
- if you want to, you can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from other households
- you may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you want to, but one of the households in the ‘support bubble’ should be a single adult household (either an adult living alone or with children under 18 only). You can all spend time together outside and inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance
What will change from 1 August
From 1 August, the Government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly. For those shielding, the advice is to return to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure – although carry on working from home if that is possible.
return to Work?
From 1 August, individuals will no longer be eligible for SSP on the basis of being clinically extremely vulnerable.
If previously furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30 June, employers may be able to apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, under which you can be furloughed and receive 80% of your regular wages, up to a cap of £2,500. This scheme will run until the end of October.