The UK government announced in September 2021 that, in England, people previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will not be advised to shield again. This followed a pause to shielding guidance that had been in place since 1 April 2021.

Since 19 July 2021, the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people in England 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.

The webpage which previously hosted the English guidance for people considered clinically extremely vulnerable has been updated to state that shielding has ended, but that those in this category should continue to follow the general COVID-19 guidance on how to stay safe and, in addition, may want to consider additional precautions, alongside any medical advice.

The position in Wales remains that shielding is unlikely to be reintroduced, but this has yet to be unequivocally ruled out. The Welsh government publishes its own guidance for clinically vulnerable people – although it does share similar themes to the guidance applicable in England.

Separate guidance is available for people living in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.