Vulnerable WON’T have to shield: Millions of clinically at-risk Britons will be advised to have limited social contact when Covid curbs are lifted
- Over 2million clinically vulnerable will be told to limit social contact on July 19
- Ministers will issue advice to the millions who ‘shielded’ in the first lockdown
- Sources said the advice will not tell them to stay at home but set out the ‘risks’
- All clinically vulnerable people have been offered two Covid-19 vaccine doses
More than two million clinically vulnerable Britons will be warned to limit social contact when Covid restrictions are lifted on July 19.
Ministers are to issue advice in the coming days to the millions who ‘shielded’ at home during the first lockdown last year.
Sources said the advice would ‘set out the risks’ involved in exploiting the new freedoms – but would not tell them to stay at home.
Sources said advice for the clinically vulnerable from July 19 would ‘set out the risks’ involved in exploiting the new freedoms – but would not tell them to stay at home (stock image)
‘There were so many downsides to shielding, such as isolation, and the vaccine programme means we are in a very different situation to last year,’ a source said.
‘But it is right to remind the most vulnerable that there are still risks.’
All clinically vulnerable people have been offered two vaccine doses which slashes their risk of serious illness.
But health minister Lord Bethell yesterday acknowledged that the Government was ‘to a certain extent walking into the unknown’ by lifting all restrictions on July 19 at a time when cases are soaring.
Health minister Lord Bethell (right with Dido Harding) said the Government was ‘to an extent walking into the unknown’ by lifting all restrictions at a time when cases are soaring
He also said some with weak immune systems may be feeling ‘left behind’.
Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Brinton said any advice to the clinically vulnerable should be issued ‘extremely urgently’, adding: ‘They may be planning to mix with people, or perhaps even go on holiday.’
Lord Bethell said: ‘If you are at home and your immune system does not work as well as other people’s, and you see the rest of the country opening up, you will feel extremely uncomfortable, as though the world has moved on and that you have perhaps been left behind.
‘On an emotional level, I completely sympathise with that.’
Lord Bethell acknowledged the need for ‘clear advice’ but said it would have to be ‘tailored’ to reflect people’s individual conditions.