It’s that time again – things are changing for people who are shielding.
At the start of July we will be seeing lots of changes to the coronavirus guidance. A lot of people have been shielding, with very limited contact with other people and barely leaving their homes. This has understandably been very hard to adjust to for many people. But for many it has also become the new norm. But soon we are going to start seeing hints of normal life before the outbreak. These changes might also be hard to adjust to. Though if we know what is going to happen, we can be more prepared, and this might make the changes easier for everyone.
From 6th July people who are shielding will be able to meet up with to 6 people outdoors (still up to 2 metres apart).
People can also have a support bubble. A support bubble means that you will be able to go around and see people in one household as long as they all live together. We will also see cafés, restaurants and hairdressers open and two weeks after that hotels and holiday camps. Social distancing will also be reduced to 1 metre when the pubs, cafés and restaurants open. When using public transport, you must still wear a mask, unless it is too hard or unsafe for you to wear one.
August 1st will see some more changes. Those who are considered extremely vulnerable or most at risk from becoming very ill from the virus will no longer have to shield. These people will be able to return to go out and shop or go to work as long as their workplace is free from the virus. But it’s important they still follow the guidelines on social distancing and wash hands regularly to lower the risk of becoming infected.
This is all happening because the infection rate is falling, the government believe we are much less at risk of getting the virus when going out into the community. But they have said that if the infection rate climbs back up then we will have to go back a step to the guidance before.
If you still feel unsure about the guidance changes, you might want to use this time to read up on it, so you feel confident about what is going to change in July.
Our resource hub on the LDE website is a good place to start. The NWTDT film can help you understand and plan.
Also talk to friends and family, someone else explaining things can often make it much clearer for you.
By Gary Bourlet