Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery

Shielding Guidance

iamge of a shield

Currently the shielding guidance and support remains the same, 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. 

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.

Unless advised otherwise by your clinician, you are still in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category and should continue to follow the Government guidance on shielding.

Please call our helpline to register for any future support you might need to prepare for becoming self-dependant again over the next 6 weeks as shielding guidelines relax: 01983 823600, seven days a week, 9am to 5pm.

To make use of the voluntary shopping and essential services, please visit the IOW Coronavirus website - food essentials.

If you need support or advice about good mental health please visit the online Isle of Wight Community Mental Health Support Hub.

Please download our anxiety awareness

The shielding guidance will change on 6 July 2020 and again on 1 August 2020.

Reason for changes to shielding guidance and support

The new shielding guidance is being developed in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of those who are shielding in mind.

These are people of all ages with specific medical conditions have been identified by the NHS as people who are at greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

Current statistics show that the rate of catching coronavirus in the community continues to decrease. On average less than 1 in 1,700 in our communities across the country are estimated to have the virus, down from 1 in 500 four weeks ago. 

Please be reassured, we will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much and the risks increase we may need to advise you to shield again.

Changes from 6 July 2020

  • If you’re shielding you can spend time outdoors in a group of up to six people (including those outside of your household).

  • This can be in a public outdoor space, or in a private garden or uncovered yard or terrace. 

  • Extra care should be taken to minimise contact with others by maintaining social distancing.

Changes from Saturday 1 August 2020,

From the 1 August 2020 advice to those shielding will be further relaxed, people will no longer be advised to shield.

  • National essential food parcel supplies and medication delivery will end.

  • The clinically extremely vulnerable should then continue to stay at home as much as possible, and if you do go out, please take particular care to minimise.

  • Contact with others outside of your household (unless they are in your support bubble).

  • Keep your social distance from others.

  • Practise good and frequent hand washing, for at least 20 seconds. Take hand sanitiser with you if you can.

  • Wear a face covering if you can.

  • You can go to work or to the shops, as long as you are able to maintain social distancing.

The Isle of Wight Council has worked with local retail businesses to support them to provide Covid-safe environments when you visit our town centres. There are also visual markers in place in our town centres to help you while you navigate the town to keep your social distance from others.

It is recommend to use the following types of transport, If you can please, walk, cycle or drive to your destinations. If you must use public transport, please wear a face covering if you can.

Support available from 1 August 2020

From 1 August 2020, clinically extremely vulnerable people will continue to have access to priority supermarket delivery slots if you have registered online before 17 July 2020 for a priority delivery slot. 

NHS Volunteer Responders will also offer support to those who need it, including collecting and delivering food and medicines.
The NHS Volunteer Responders Scheme has been expanded to offer a new Check in and Chat Plus role. This new role has been designed to provide peer support and companionship to people who are shielding as they adapt to a more normal way of life.  
If you are vulnerable or at risk and need help with shopping, medication or other essential supplies please call 0808 196 3646, 8am to 8pm.
The Government is committed to supporting those who have specific support needs and requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. View details at GOV.UK website - find coronavirus support.  

The updated shielding guidance should not affect any social care or support you were receiving prior to the start of shielding.

Please call our helpline to register for any future support you might need to prepare for becoming self-dependant again over the next 6 weeks as shielding guidelines relax: 01983 823600, seven days a week, 9am to 5pm.

'Out and About' cards

Working as part of the Age Friendly Island partnership we have developed a set of ‘out and about cards’ part-funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, to help people move towards the ‘new normal’. 

The cards are to help people feel more confident when they are out and about, having to social distance as well as follow other covid-secure measures that are in place . 

These cards are for people who:

  • Find social distancing challenging. For example they may have a visual impairment or have difficulty in understanding social distancing instructions.

  • Are exempt from wearing a face covering under the Government Guidance.

  • Find the use of face coverings by other people challenging. Face coverings make communication difficult for those who rely on lip reading and facial expressions

  • Feel they need time and space. They may have been shielding and are just starting to get back out and about.

If you see someone with these cards when you are out and about, please be patient and considerate. 

How to get an 'Out and About' card

Age Friendly Island and partner organisations are running a pilot to find out how useful people find the cards. If the feedback is positive, we hope to then have more available for wider use. If you or someone you know would benefit from using these cards please contact Age UK on 01983 525282 or download and print the set of cards from our website.

Help us to make people aware 

We are encouraging businesses to use posters within their venue to help raise awareness about the purpose of the ‘out and about’ flash cards. By putting up the posters you will be supporting people who are using them and helping them to feel confident whilst out and about Download the posters from our campaign toolkit web page