This guidance is for adults and children in England who are clinically extremely vulnerable. If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable you should have received a letter confirming this or have been told directly by your GP or hospital clinician.
On 31 October, the Prime Minister announced new national restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19. We are writing to you because you have previously been identified as someone thought to be clinically extremely vulnerable and at highest risk of becoming very unwell if you catch COVID-19.
This letter contains important advice on how to protect yourself and how to access further support. Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK, and that is why, from 5 November until 2 December, the Government has taken the following action:
1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
3. Closing certain businesses and venues, like hospitality and non-essential retail. The new national restrictions are rules that apply to everyone and which everyone must follow.
The full details of these rules can be found online at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. In addition, the Government is issuing new guidance to clinically extremely vulnerable people. This is set out in the following pages.
Whilst this is not a return to the very restrictive shielding advice you may have followed earlier in the year, you are strongly advised to follow these extra precautionary shielding measures to help keep yourself safe. This remains advice, not the law.
You should stay at home as much as possible but are encouraged to go outdoors for exercising and attending health appointments. You are strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work. You may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough). This letter is a formal shielding notification and can act as evidence for your employer to show that you cannot work outside your home until 2 December, including for statutory sick pay (SSP) purposes.
The new national restrictions, and this specific advice will apply across England for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of this period, we expect to return to guidance that is specific to your region, based on the latest data. We will write to you again with further information before then.
Please remember that the NHS is open, and we urge you to continue to access all the NHS services that you need. It is safer for you to use the NHS than to try to manage alone. If you are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on your health, speak to your GP, hospital clinician or use NHS111.
Further information on how to access help, including how to register for support, can be found in the attached guidance. We know that this is a difficult time and many people are making significant sacrifices. Thank you for your efforts to keep yourself and others safe.
Annual flu programme
As part of the 2020 to 2021 flu vaccination programme, all other members of households of those who are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable at the time of the flu programme delivery are eligible for free flu vaccinations. Most people who are clinically extremely vulnerable will already be eligible for a free flu vaccination. Read further information about the annual flu programme.