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COVID-19: shielding programme ends for the clinically extremely vulnerable

The concept of 'shielding' which has prevented many employees from attending the workplace over the last 18 months has now ended

Andrew Collier
Andrew Collier HR Adviser
The government has formally announced that the shielding requirement for people previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer apply. People previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable will not be advised to shield again, as the government agrees to end the requirement for centralised guidance for these groups following expert clinical advice. 
Since 19 July 2021, the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people has been to follow the same advice as the rest of the population, with the suggestion of additional precautions people may wish to take. Research and evaluation for some individual clinical groups will continue.  However, some people were still being advised to shield (or requesting to shield) and it remained a possibility that as Autumn/Winter approached further shielding advice would be issued.  That is now confirmed not to be the case. 
The government guidance for people considered clinically extremely vulnerable has now been updated to say that shielding has ended, but that those in this category should continue to follow the general COVID-19 guidance on how to stay safe. Additional precautions should be considered if appropriate.

At one point it was said that 2.2 million people were shielding in the UK, so the news of the abolition of the concept will be welcomed by many employers no doubt!
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