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Coming into effect today (6th of July), the UK Government has published updated guidance for people who are shielding in England as it says COVID-19 infection rates have decreased over the last few weeks.

From today onwards, the UK Government is now advising the following for those who are shielding:

  • People can now meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • The shielding group no longer needs to practice social distancing with other members from their household
  • In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, the shielding group can now 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 new guidance comes as the risk of coronavirus in England has fallen over the last few weeks, making it less likely to contract the virus.

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As announced on the 22nd of June, the UK Government will also be relaxing shielding guidelines further on the 1st of August.

From the 1st of August, the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, the government is advising at-risk individuals to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures.

This means that people who are shielding can go out to more places and see more people but should take care to minimise contact with others outside of their household or support bubble.

In practice, this means that from the beginning of August, people who are shielding can return to work (if unable to work from home), providing the workplace is COVID-secure. It also means individuals can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise while adopting strict social distancing.

Although the relaxing of measures is advisory, the UK Government says that those who are shielding should remain cautious when out and about because they are still at high risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus.

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