On 17 September Wirral Council’s Director of Public Health Julie Webster wrote to anyone who was previously shielding to ask them to take extra care as Wirral’s coronavirus cases continue to rise. The number of people with coronavirus has increased dramatically since the end of August and remains high. 

Whilst the government has not re-introduced the shielding programme in Wirral at this time, and has not required people to fully self-isolate, those who were previously shielding are advised to protect yourself and others when you are away from your home. You must always: 

  • keep social distancing - stay at least two metres away from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble
  • limit social contacts – As part of the new restrictions in Merseyside, you must not meet people who do not live with you or are not part of your support bubble, either indoors or outdoors (with some exemptions)
  • wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, often and as soon as you get home - use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available
  • wear a face covering - cover your mouth and nose where social distancing is not possible, outdoors and indoors and in the many places where they are now required by law, including public transport, shops, post-offices, banks, visitor attractions, libraries, community centres, places of worship and more. 
  • avoid businesses that are not COVID-19 secure. If they are not looking after you, don’t go there!

What to do if you develop symptoms?

If you develop symptoms such as a cough, or fever, or you lose your sense of taste or smell, get a test and stay at home until you get the result. You can book a test by going to www.wirral.gov.uk/test or call 119 if you do not have internet access. If you test positive, please stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms have started.  If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, follow their instructions.

Now is the time to think about who would support you if you can’t go out or choose not to for your safety.  Who will be able to help you get your shopping and essentials? Ask your family, friends or neighbours if they can help – have a plan.

Get help if you can pay for your food shopping but need some assistance

If you do not already do so, you may for example wish to consider arranging online supermarket deliveries and delivery of your regular prescriptions via your community pharmacy. There is also information of support available, and of services that may be of interest, online via the Wirral InfoBank

If you can afford to pay for your food shopping and want to shop online but don't have the means, please call Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 who may be able to refer you to a local charity to provide help with equipment and support to get online.

Wirral Council operates a Coronavirus Helpline. Those needing support can call 0151 666 5050. The helpline operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

If you or someone you know has shielded in the past and are unsure of what to do now, our friends at Healthwatch Wirral have produced some helpful guidance on how you can reflect and plan.

Known as ‘Seeing the light through the armour…thrive don’t just survive!’ the guidance aims to help people move on from shielding and provides lots of useful tips and information.

Download it at Healthwatch Wirral