The guidance has been updated to support the clinically extremely vulnerable in protecting themselves from exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19).

UPDATE 18.3.21

Update: Shielding advice paused from 1 April

From 1 April, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer be advised to shield.

You can find the full press release here.


Everyone on the Shielded Patients List will receive a letter from today (Thursday 18 March) informing them of the guidance changes and will include practical steps they can follow to reduce their risk of catching Covid-19. Those with an email address registered with their GP may also receive an email.


Below you can find:

An employment support toolkit

The letter that will be sent to all shielders.

UPDATE 23.2.21

This week the government has sent letters to a new group of people who have been identified as being at high risk from serious illness if they catch COVID-19.

The government is advising these clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield – and to take up the offer of a vaccine, which will now be offered to them.

People have been identified by a number of factors such as age, sex registered at birth, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI) and specific health conditions and treatments, to estimate the risk they have of catching coronavirus and becoming seriously unwell.

If you have been identified as high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) you are strongly advised to shield and stay at home as much as possible until 31 March, except to exercise or to attend health appointments (including of course for vaccination).

If you can, you should order your shopping online or ask friends or family to collect shopping for you. Your pharmacy will deliver medicine to you free of charge if you tell them you are clinically extremely vulnerable.

You can register for support online. If you are unable to do this, or need food or medicine urgently, please call the HIVE Portsmouth community helpline on 023 9261 6709 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).


It replaces previous guidance on shielding that was in place during the 4-week period of National Restrictions. The guidance is set out in 2 parts:

  • Updated advice on protecting the clinically extremely vulnerable, based on the tiers of local restrictions in your area. The advice sets out the additional things people at the highest risk from COVID-19 are advised to do to keep themselves safe for each tier.
  • Updated shielding advice that is more targeted and will only apply in some of the worst affected areas and only for a limited period of time. You are only advised to follow shielding advice if you receive a new written shielding notification

Read more here.

At risk groups to receive free winter supply of Vitamin D

More than 2.5 million vulnerable people across England will be offered free vitamin D supplements for the winter, the government has announced.

All care homes will automatically receive a provision for their residents, while individuals on the clinically extremely vulnerable list will receive a letter inviting them to opt in for a supply to be delivered directly to their homes. Deliveries will be free of charge, starting in January, and will provide 4 months’ worth of supplements to last people through the winter months.

The supplements will support general health, in particular bone and muscle health. This is particularly important this year as these individuals are more likely to have been indoors for extended periods due to measures introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Read more here.