Shielding ends this week – but support is still available

Published: 30 March 2021

Woman shopping and holding fruit in mask

It is still advised that those who have been asked to shield previously take extra precautions wherever possible to stay safe

The shielding programme comes to an end on Thursday 1 April, as part of the Government’s roadmap to unlocking COVID restrictions in the country.

People who had been asked to shield will be receiving letters in the next couple of weeks with updated advice and guidance on steps people can take to reduce their risk of transmission as the programme ends.

It is still advised that those who have been asked to shield previously take extra precautions wherever possible to stay safe.

It was announced in February that clinicians in England would be using more factors to help identify people who may be at higher risk from COVID-19. Over 800,000 adults were prioritised to receive a vaccine as part of the current vaccination cohorts.

The new system uses a combination of risk factors based on medical records, to assess whether somebody may be more vulnerable than was previously understood, helping clinicians provide a vaccination more quickly to them and ensuring patients can benefit from additional advice and support.

Those asked to shield have been prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccination and should have now received an invitation to book their appointment.

If you have been told that you are high risk and have been asked to shield and have not been offered your COVID-19 jab, please contact your GP or visit the NHS website to book.

While the shielding programme is coming to an end, plenty of support is still available for those who need it in Derby.

In Derby, the Community Hub is here to assist all those in need during the pandemic but will prioritise those who have no family, friends, or neighbours to support them.

We are also requesting calls from ‘Good Neighbours’ who have some time during lockdown to assist the Hub with a variety of tasks, including distributing food parcels once or twice a week.

You can find out more about the Derby Community Hub, the support it provides and how you can help on the Council website Those who need support can call Derby Direct on 01332 640000. A text service is also available for Deaf people on 0777 4333412.

The line will open between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. There’s also a dedicated email at

Should there be any emergency care needs due to COVID-19, please call the emergency OOH Careline number on 01332 956606.

Derby’s community led approach to the COVID-19 crisis has been recognised across the country and internationally for its effectiveness and there is a desire and a commitment from the Council and voluntary sector partners for the Hub to grow and develop as a long-term part of our community work.

Dr Robyn Dewis, Director of Public Health, Derby City Council, said:

It is very positive that we are moving towards a level of COVID transmission that allows those more at risk of severe illness to no longer shield.

However, it is understandable that the idea of leaving our homes more regularly could cause anxiety or concern if you have been asked to shield previously.

Please do remember to take things at your own pace and continue to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines to keep yourselves and others safer.

There is plenty of support available through Derby’s Community Hub and other services if you find yourself vulnerable or struggling.

For full details of shielding and COVID guidance, visit the Government website. There is also lots of useful information on COVID, health and wellbeing, including local support, on the Derby City Council website.

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