The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that coronavirus infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks. This guidance remains advisory.

From 1 August the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, the government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble. In practice, this means that from 1 August:

  • You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing
  • You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing
  • You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing

Unless there is a significant rise in cases we expect the shielding programme to be paused on 31 July.

Those in receipt of centrally provided food boxes and medicine deliveries will continue to receive this support until the end of July if they want it.

Torbay shielding hub

The Torbay Shielding Hub has now been paused following the announcement that those who were shielding can now go outside more.

The Hub, which was based at Torquay Town Hall, is a partnership between us, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, and the local voluntary sector. It supported people who had been designated by the NHS as ‘extremely vulnerable’ and were shielding at home.

Since the Shielding Hub launched at the end of March, they have made more than 18,400 calls and have around 6,800 vulnerable people on the database. They have delivered more than 830 food parcels.

  Shielding Factsheet

More information and support

  • If you are on the extremely vulnerable shielded list and have had a letter, or you are looking after someone who is, this should be registered on the GOV.UK website.
  • Although the Torbay Shielding Hub primary role is to contact the extra vulnerable identified by the NHS, if you think you fit into this category but have not been identified, you can call the hub on 01803 208200 but you should also speak to your GP.
  • For general enquiries and support, Torbay Council call centre provision has been increased and operational hours extended to include weekends. The main number to call is 01803 207201.
  • A Torbay Coronavirus Helpline has also been set up to help people who are isolating with non-emergency matters, the hub can be contacted on 01803 446022 or 01803 857727 10am until 6pm, six days a week, Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturdays 9.30am to 12.30pm.
  • All the latest information on shielding can be found on the GOV.UK website.