Shielded Allowed To Go Outside As Lockdown Eases Further
The UK government has announced that the most vulnerable people in England and Wales will finally be able to leave their homes.
At today's (31 May) daily coronavirus briefing, Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, explained what the renewed measures would mean.
Those shielding will now be able to go outside with members of their household or, if they live alone, to meet up with one person from another household.
However, he also said that the new guidance surrounding those who come under the 'shielding' umbrella would be reassessed in the week commencing 15 June, so is subject to change.
Mr Jenrick said: "While shielding guidance is in place to the end of June, it may need to be extended past that point.
"We want to continue to do all we can to ensure that whilst you might be at home shielding for a bit longer, you are not alone."
Advice surrounding shielding in Northern Ireland and Scotland, however, has not changes.
In a statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised those within the group for having stayed at home over the past two months.
He said: "I want to thank everyone who has followed the shielding guidance - it is because of your patience and sacrifice that thousands of lives have been saved.
"I do not underestimate just how difficult it has been for you, staying at home for the last 10 weeks, and I want to pay tribute to your resilience.
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"I also want to recognise the hundreds of thousands of extraordinary volunteers who have supported you in shielding.
"Whether through delivering medicines and shopping, or simply by checking in on those isolating, they should feel deeply proud of the part they have played in this collective effort.
"We have been looking at how we can make life easier for our most vulnerable, so today I am happy to confirm that those who are shielding will be able to spend time outside with someone else, observing social distance guidelines.
"I will do what I can, in line with the scientific advice, to continue making life easier for you over the coming weeks and months."
SHIELDING THREAD (1/3)
From Monday, the 2.2 million people who've been shielding can go outside for first time.
This will be with either members of their household, or, if they live alone, to meet one other person.
Full guidance will follow tomorrow.
- Robert Jenrick (@RobertJenrick) May 30, 2020
Confirming that changes would be made to guidance, Mr Jenrick yesterday (30 May) thanked people for the 'huge sacrifices' they had made during lockdown.
In a statement, he said: "Those shielding from coronavirus have made huge sacrifices over recent months to protect both themselves and the NHS - they deserve our thanks and our support for their efforts.
"Incidence rates of coronavirus are now significantly lower than before these measures were put in place.
"That's why we are focused on finding the right balance between continuing to protect those at the greatest clinical risk, whilst easing restrictions on their daily lives to make the difficult situation more bearable - particularly enabling the contact with loved ones they and we all seek.
"We will now be providing regular updates to the shielded to guide them through the next phase and, we hope, to better and less restrictive times. In the meantime we will continue to provide the support that the shielded in our communities need."
Featured Image Credit: PA