23 June 2020

The UK Government has set out a roadmap for the clinically extremely vulnerable on the future of the shielding programme with guidance changing on 6 July and again on 1 August.

Expert doctors have identified specific medical conditions that place some people at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These include:

• people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment

• people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs

Currently, high risk people should continue to stay at home and only go outside to exercise or to spend time outdoors with a member of your household, or with one other person from another household if you live alone.

However, following the latest data from the ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey, the government has updated their advice for people shielding.

From Monday 6 July, those shielding can spend time outdoors in a group of up to six people (including those outside of their household). Extra care should be taken to minimise contact with others by maintaining social distancing. This can be in a public outdoor space, or in a private garden or uncovered yard or terrace.

All adults, including the clinically extremely vulnerable, who live alone or with dependent children only can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble can spend time together inside each other's homes, including overnight.

From Saturday 1 August, those shielding will no longer need to shield, and the advice will be that you can visit shops and places of worship, but you should continue maintaining rigorous social distancing.

DKMS recommends that you keep in contact with your consultant/healthcare team regarding your health. Additionally, we strongly urge patients to follow the Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 until the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have passed.

If you are vulnerable or at risk and need help with food, medicines or other essential supplies, please call the government’s helpline on 0800 028 8327 to get get additional support if you need it.