I hope you are all well and well done for getting through the lockdown period so far.
I have been asked for an update in ‘shielding’ recommendations since the ease in lockdown for the general public. Public Health England (PHE) have recentlyissued new guidance for patients in the shielding category taking into account that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19).
I have summarised the main points below. The Government is currently advising people to shield until 30 June 2020 and is regularly monitoring this position.
Patients remain vulnerable and should take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.
If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.
You should stay alert when leaving home: washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings of any size
You should not attend any gatherings, including gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, parties, weddings and religious services.
You should strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste or smell).
For information regarding returning to work, please refer to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#work-and-employment-for-those-who-are-shielding
With best wishes,
Dr Jian Wu on behalf of Frimley Park Hospital IBD team