Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 4 January 2021 regarding a national lockdown with immediate effect, residents who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are being advised to stay at home.
Everyone in England, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, is required to follow the new National Restrictions, which have been set out by the Government and apply to the whole population. These restrictions require people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, additional measures are in place to protect you which you must follow. This includes not leaving or being outside of your home, except for limited purposes (set out in the guidance). Stay at home as much as possible except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments.
You are strongly advised to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus in your area may be significantly higher. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work.
You may want to speak to your employer about taking on an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily to enable you to work from home where possible.
If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. You should have a conversation with your employer about whether this is possible.
As you are being advised not to attend work, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The formal shielding letter you receive will act as evidence for your employer and the Department of Work and Pensions that you are advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA.
Members of the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home
As our knowledge of COVID-19 has grown, we now know that very few children and young people are at highest risk of severe illness due to the virus. Doctors have therefore been reviewing all children and young people who were initially identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to confirm whether they are still thought to be at highest risk.
If you have already discussed this with your child’s doctors and they have confirmed your child is still considered clinically extremely vulnerable, your child should follow shielding advice and should not attend school, because the risk of exposure to the virus is very high.
Your school or college will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at home.
Children and young people in the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend school. Children and young people whose parents or carers are clinically extremely vulnerable should also continue to go to school.
You can go outside, but try to keep all contact with others outside of your household to a minimum, and avoid busy areas. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household.
You are advised to stay at home as much as possible.
You can still remain in your support bubble, but you cannot meet with friends and family you do not live with unless they are part of your support bubble. This is part of the wider regulations in place in your area.
Try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.
You are advised to stay at home as much as possible and not to travel unless essential.
You are advised not to go to the shops. Use online shopping if you can, or ask others to collect and deliver shopping for you.
You can register to request access to priority supermarket deliveries, if you do not have someone you can rely on to go shopping for you. If you already have a priority delivery slot with a supermarket, that will continue – you do not need to do anything further. When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription.
Registering on the site just gives you priority. It does not mean you’ll definitely get a delivery slot. If you want access to priority supermarket deliveries, you will also need to set up an account with at least one supermarket and book slots yourself.
If you need any further support with essential supplies, please contact 0151 443 2600.
You are strongly advised not to go to a pharmacy. In the first instance, you should ask if any friends, family or volunteers can collect medicines for you.
If friends and family are not able to collect your medicines for you, and you and/or the pharmacy are unable to arrange a volunteer, then you will be eligible for free medicines delivery. Please contact your pharmacy to inform them that you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need your medicines delivered, and they will arrange this free of charge.
If you are having any problems getting your medication, please contact 0151 443 2600.
Care and support
You can still receive informal care at home from people within your support bubble.
You can still receive care at home from professional social care and medical professionals.
If you are advised to shield you will be able to register yourself or someone else to:
- request access to a priority supermarket delivery slot (if you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you will keep them)
- tell your council if you need support to follow shielding guidance, especially if you are unable to arrange this yourself or with the help of friends, family or other support networks
- make sure your details, such as your address, are up to date
When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription. It is helpful if you register even if you do not have any support needs at this time. You can log in and update your needs if circumstances change at any time.
What support is available to me?
If you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and need help with shopping, picking up medication, dog walking or just having someone to talk to, call 0151 443 2600.
If you need support around mental health, visit www.kindtoyourmind.org.uk or call the crisis helpline, available 24/7 on 0800 051 1508.
How do I know if I’m in the Clinical Extremely Vulnerable category?
People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There are two ways you may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable:
- You have one or more of conditions listed below, or
- Your clinician or GP has added you to the Shielded Patient List because, based on their clinical judgement, they deem you to be at higher risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.
If you do not fall into any of these categories, and have not been contacted to inform you that you are on the Shielded Patient List, follow the general staying alert and safe guidance for the rest of the population.
If you think there are good clinical reasons why you should be added to the Shielded Patient List, discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.
People with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable:
- solid organ transplant recipients
- people with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions
What help is available to pay my mortgage during this lockdown?
The mortgage holiday will be extended. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
For borrowers who have taken six months’ holiday and continue to face ongoing financial difficulties, lenders should continue to provide support through tailored forbearance options. This could include granting new mortgage payment holidays. Home owners in this situation should speak to their lender to discuss their options.
Can I be evicted from my home during this lockdown period?
Measures to protect tenants during the COVID-19 outbreak remain in place.
Landlords must provide a 6 month notice of evictions for all but the most egregious cases. Furthermore, no bailiff enforcement will occur during the national lockdown, in line with the existing position for tier 2 and 3 Local COVID Alert Levels.
Can I leave my home if myself or my children are at risk of domestic abuse?
You do not have to stay in your home if you need to leave to escape domestic abuse.
Any individual in danger and who is unable to talk on the phone, should call 999 and then either press 55 on a mobile when prompted or wait on a landline and you will be connected to a police call handler who will be able to assist you without you having to speak.