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Extremely vulnerable Islanders who have been shielding over the past 10 weeks can safely start to spend time outdoors from tomorrow (Monday), it has been announced.

2.2million clinically extremely vulnerable people across the country will be able to go outside with members of their household, while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, from tomorrow (1st June). Those who live alone will be able to meet outside with 1 other person from another household.

Those being shielded still remain at risk and are advised to only leave the house once a day. They should not go to work or the shops and should avoid crowded places where they can’t social distance.

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The updated guidance provides a much-needed boost to those most at risk who have been staying inside their homes to protect themselves and the NHS. This includes many who have not had any face-to-face contact since they were first advised to shield.

The government’s unprecedented package of support for those shielding from coronavirus is also set to continue, including the delivery of food or medicines, phone calls and support from volunteers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has 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.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP adds:

“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”.

The Communities Secretary is expected to set out a plan to review shielding guidance at regular points in the coming weeks, with the next review to take place later in June. This will be detailed in today’s Downing Street press conference.

The average chance of catching the virus is now down from 1/40 to 1/1000.

If a person meets the criteria to get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, they can call 0808 196 3646 to be linked with a volunteer who can help them is a range of different ways. A carer or family member can also call the programme on their behalf.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Chad Mullen

All but back to norm now. Least that is how the masses will read it. And many will follow the old adages ‘if you can’t beat them..’ and ”When in Rome’. By the end of June numbers will increase dramatically, BUT our Government know this, they have all the hospitals now as ‘equipped’ as they will ever be, which is ALL HMG have been waiting for. NOW instead of dying at home, ‘because’ there are not enough bed, there now is. Less of an embarssement for HMG, and less fraught for the family, as their loved ones become just another… Read more »


Does this include people over seventy.?

Martin W

Seems the whole Islands population, AND much of the mainland’s visitors are here, doing as they please now anyway. Many people are just treating this as one glorious Government paid holiday, and are happy to break social distancing ‘IF’ for fun, for something they enjoy, BUT would be screaming out should an employer try to make them mix with others to the same degree. Many now, see what a great life it is not working, and whilst those on the dole quote how ‘little’ they receive per week in dole payments, they rarely mention the numerous top ups via free… Read more »

Calum Glenister

You are right as when i was out of work all are rent and council tax was paid, we still got all are tax credits as she was doing few hours in spoons.
We was far better off my wage now pays rent and council tax but lost tax credits which is univesal credit now so no better off at all, plus have to use car for work petrol etc.
Before car and making sandwich etc was just for a day out of fun no time fuss .

i don’t fear unemplyment now as we were happier.


Wages should be higher!

Many employers pay poor wages, which the government subsidies and earn huge profits!

Maybe the government should be challenging the ethos behind this – not from the unemployed but the large corporate businesses.

Regarding being wealthy when unemployed – I must have missed out, but then I don’t belong to the entrepreneurial Chav element of society.

Martin W

Andy, a couple of points. I never suggested you would be wealthy when unemployed, least not in monetary terms, as in living in a mansion, having a Rolls etc. But most ordinary jobs here will not make you wealthy either. My point was that most unemployed are financially no worse off than those doing a normal job now when the other benefits which I mentioned are taken into consideration. Where I drew the parallel between the ultra rich and the unemployed was the free available time both have compared to those working. What price can you put upon always being… Read more »


They’re all testing their eyesight.


Try living on universal credit for a month it would kill you,you entitled prig.You haven’t a clue about the real world.Not all unemployed are drug dealing chavs as you put it


It’s about time the government made it law that employers should pay those shielded furlough,we have had to cope on sick pay no top ups for 10 weeks yet all we are doing is what we were told to do


I’m staying in for an extra month, not listening to advice from a man who ignored all the warnings and ended really ill in hospital. R0 is only just below 1. As soon as schools go back it’ll be back above 1. I get the sense the government have given up and are thinking “sod it, just let them all get it and we’ll clean the mess up later”.

I feel for the people who have no choice and have to go out and work. I tip my hat in respect to you all.


They’ve brought forward the relaxation of the rules to distract from the Dominic Cummings affair. They’re hoping we’ll all forget what a bunch of liars they are.


Your right there Cummings again they did it to stop people keeping asking questions about his Stewpid behaviour


Yes you’re right to just because the lying snakes say you can now go out it doesn’t mean it is safe to,there are higher numbers now with it on the island than when you started shielding.Whatever the tories say do the opposite I say


I am not going by his guide line I am staying in as well this virus is still here and yes some people have been pleasing themselves doing what they want. But its not for me. All of a sudden we are being told we can go out well not good enothe. I will carry on doing what I have been doing for another month. I am my own judge of that. Please don’t listen to this government they don’t care about us. I believe in one medical officer Mr. Chriss whitty. He knows Boris is doing wrong I listen… Read more »

Ed Down

Did anybody else think that when Boris was mayor he was just a novelty act with his floppy hair and riding the bike to work?

Jokes gone a bit far now


What pisses me of is those that say they are on the vulnerable list yet they visit neighbours for a chat, have friends round for a chat, family and grandchildren round and celebrate VE day with friends coming into their garden. If they get Covid, they’ll probably blame everyone except themselves. Maybe they got it when they went shopping and they were supposed to be in quarantine for 12 weeks. My step son is the same… bragging about how he sneaks out to get ‘stuff’, food, visiting friends for a BBQ etc.etc. Now he’s saying how great it is that… Read more »


Having a lung disease means that all I’ve seen in the last 10 weeks is my four walls and back garden (which I have fortunately) plus the man that brings my food and medicine at a distance , I value my life so please don’t lump all in the vulnerable category together …there are those that don’t care about protecting their community and the NHS in all categories throughout the land


Pinkey- you have my full support and sympathy, unlike my stepson who is one of those mentioned by Martin W. I watched a TV program about a woman on benefits with x kids, bragging that she was ‘earning’ £30K a year. That sucks so bad.

Dodgy joe

‘if they get covid’. Wake up ffs, Covid is a myth which every single death is blamed on. The common flu is far more dangerous. Your stepson is a hell of a lot smarter than you it seems.


Well Cowes week is still going ahead, much to locals disgust. Rich people’s playground! No thought for local lives or extra strain on st.marys.


Well, hopefully the R rate will be back below 1 again after a possible spike, would hate to miss the garlic festival which follows on.

Paul Gledhill

It’s ok for the government to state that venerable ppl like myself should stay in for 3 months and not go out to the shops,but we still need to get food!!!!

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