Vulnerable People Continuing to Shield Despite No Longer Needing to, According to New Data

The four million people in England and Wales who have been advised to shield were told they no longer needed to in April. In England, most clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people are aware of this change in guidance and most have been fully vaccinated against Covid. But half have decided to continue shielding anyway. The Evening Standard has the story.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that 50% of CEV people said they were continuing to shield when asked between April 26th and May 1st.

But an ONS analysis, published on Friday, found that 84% reported being aware that Government advice to shield had been paused and that two-thirds (67%) had received two doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Tim Gibbs, Head of the Public Services Analysis team at the ONS, said: “Since April 1st, 2021, CEV people have been advised that they no longer need to shield to protect themselves from Covid.

“Our results today show that although Government advice to shield has paused, half of those identified as CEV reported continuing to shield.

“We’ve recently seen lockdown restrictions ease significantly, this is great to see, however, it’s critical that we continue to monitor the impact of these changes on groups such as the clinically extremely vulnerable.”

The ONS added that approximately 420,000 of CEV people (11%) were estimated to have not left the house in the last seven days.

There are a total of 3.7 million people in England identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable to severe impact from COVID-19, the ONS said.

Worth reading in full.

Shielding Coming to an End in England and Wales

The four million people in England and Wales who have been told to shield during lockdown will no longer have to do so from Thursday, but are still being advised by the Government to keep social contacts at low levels. BBC News has the story.

Wednesday marks the last day that about four million of the most clinically vulnerable people in England and Wales are advised to shield at home.

Letters have been sent out to the group in the last few weeks. 

They are still being advised to keep social contacts at low levels, work from home where possible and stay at a distance from other people.

The change comes amid falling Covid cases and hospital admissions.

According to NHS Digital, there are 3.8 million shielded patients in England and 130,000 in Wales.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to lift their restrictions later in April.

In the UK about 90,000 people shielding are under 18. Once they are no longer advised to shield, they can return to school.

Worth reading in full.