With the easing of lockdown restrictions for our most clinically vulnerable ‘shielded’ residents, we’re asked to show support and kindness to those who may need help readjusting to life in the community.
People who have been deemed extremely vulnerable to serious illness or death from Covid-19 have been told they can pause ‘shielding’ from 1 August.
This means that over 10,000 Knowsley residents in this group can now return to the workplace, go shopping, visit places of worship, while continuing to remain home ‘as much as possible’.
But this may cause understandable anxiety and concern for many people who have not been outside their homes and experienced the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life – particularly in a ‘Covid world’ – for months.
So there are a number of ways you can look out for people who may be experiencing difficulties and show them kindness and support.
– Offer to accompany a friend or neighbour on their first few shopping trips.
– Remind them of the guidance for shopping safely, such as maintaining social distancing, sanitising hands and wearing masks.
– Offer to accompany someone on their first trip on public transport
– Offer to purchase face masks on their behalf before their first trip
Knowsley’s Community Support and Volunteer Line on freephone 0800 073 0043, is also continuing to help residents during the pandemic. The helpline can arrange support with shopping trips, or even just a friendly telephone call.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “We know that the period when people have been ‘shielding’ has been difficult for many and those affected now face the prospect of adjusting to something approaching normal life.
“For many this will be a daunting prospect, and those first trips outdoors may be frightening, so it’s important we all remember to show kindness to our friends, neighbours and let them know that they are not alone.”
For more information about the pausing of the ‘shielded’ programme view the latest Government guidance.
Your Questions Answered
Q: I’ve been unable to visit the shops whilst ‘shielding’. Can I now go shopping?
A: Yes, you can now go shopping, but please follow the latest guidance regarding social distancing and wearing a face mask in shops.
Q: While shielding a council volunteer has been doing my shopping for me and I have been having my prescriptions delivered. Can those services continue?
A: Yes, you can continue with these service if you wish. You can also seek support from NHS Volunteer Responders by ringing 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm.
Q: I have not been taking exercise during shielding. Can I now go for walks?
A: Yes. You can now enjoy gentle exercise such as walking. Once again, please be mindful of social distancing guidance (keeping a 2m distance from others) and carrying a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes.
Q: I am a member of a local gym but have been unable to attend while shielding. I am keen to return to benefit my mental and physical health. Can I do this and what precautions do I need to follow?
A: Yes, you can now visit a gym or leisure centre. However, they will have introduced new safety measures to limit the number of people using the gym at any one time, such as introducing booking in times and reduced class sizes.
Qu: I have had restricted visits from relatives during lockdown (relatives remained in the garden conversing through a patio door). Are socially-distanced visits from relatives now relaxed?
A: Yes, you can now receive visits from those in your social bubble from one other household. However, if you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measures have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply.
Qu: Can I meet people from other households socially?
A: You can socialise indoors ‒ including dining out or going to the pub – with members of up to 2 households and socialise outdoors in a group of up to 6 people from different households or up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household)