Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 31 October regarding a national lockdown from Thursday 5 November, residents who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are being advised to stay at home.
Guidance has been issued to everyone in England who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past.
Everyone in England, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, is required to follow the new National Restrictions from 5 November, 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
- prevent people gathering with those they do not live with, except for specific purposes
- close certain businesses and venues
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, additional measures are in place to protect you which you must follow from 5 November until 2 December. This includes:-
- You must not leave or be 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. If you cannot work from home, you should not attend work for this period of restrictions. If you cannot attend work for this reason, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit. Other eligibility criteria will apply. If you are on the payroll before 30 October 2020, you may be also be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (on furlough), which is being extended until 2 December. Speak to your employer if you think you are eligible.
- If your child has been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable, they are advised not to attend school while this advice is in place. Your school will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at home.
- You should avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport. You should still travel to hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by your doctor.
- You are advised to not go to the shops. Shop online if you can or ask others to collect and deliver shopping for you. If you cannot access food, contact Knowsley Council on 0151 443 2600.
- You are advised not to go to a pharmacy. Ask a friend, family member, carer or a volunteer to collect your medicines for you. If none of these are available, contact your pharmacy to inform them you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need your medicines delivered. They will arrange this free of charge.
- It is important that you continue to receive the care and support you need to help you stay safe and well. Continue to seek support from the NHS and other health providers for your existing health conditions and any new health concerns. You can access a range of NHS services from home, including ordering repeat prescriptions or contacting your health professional through an online consultation. To find out more, visit NHS Health at Home or download the NHS App. If you have an urgent medical need, call NHS 111 or, for a medical emergency, dial 999.
- Any carers or visitors who support you, or a child or young person in your care, with everyday needs, can continue to visit. They should follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required.
What support is available to me?
Help is only a phone call away. You are not alone.
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.