Clinically extremely vulnerable people are now being advised to shield until 31 March 2021 with more people being added to the list.

How do I protect myself?

Key ways to help you protect yourself are:

  • stay at home as much as possible – only go outdoors to exercise or attend health appointments
  • do not go to the shops for food or medicines. Shop online or ask others to shop and collect medicines for you  - friends and family, local volunteers or NHS Volunteer Responders
  • do not travel unless it is essential
  • stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you do not live or is not in your bubble
  • try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household or bubble, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate
  • you can still meet with your support bubble, but you cannot meet others you do not live with unless they are part of your support bubble
  • outdoors, you can meet one person from another household for exercise

Take extra care to:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often
  • use hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available
  • wear a face covering over your mouth and nose outdoors and indoors when social distancing is not possible

Read further guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK

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