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New shielding guidance for the extremely vulnerable group

By 29th June 2020No Comments

From 6 July, new shielding guidance from the government will come into effect. This guidance applies to the clinically extremely vulnerable who are shielding in England during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated advice

You can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing.

You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household.

In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18), you may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time.

From 1 August

From 1 August, the shielding advice will relax further, allowing those shielding to participate in activities such as visit shops and places of worship, provided they take particular care to maintain social distancing and minimise contact with others outside their household.

You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing

Who this guidance is for

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. They should have received a letter advising them to shield or have been told by their GP or hospital clinician.

This includes:

  • those with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  • those with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • anyone with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • those receiving immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • those receiving other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • anyone who has had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs

For more shielding information and guidance, visit

If you’re currently shielding and are looking for support, click here for details on how local groups have adapted to be able to continue supporting cancer patients and their families.

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