Does easing restrictions apply to 70 year olds and over?
Yes. However, the advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.
If they do go out, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.
We know that those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has an underlying disease.
But unfortunately, we also know that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus infection resulting in more serious disease. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.
How is guidance to those shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable) being relaxed?
From 6 July, the government will be advising that the clinically extremely vulnerable:
- may, if they wish, meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
- no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
- in line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, may from this date, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance
This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time.
From 1 August, the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, the government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.
In practice, this means from 1 August you are advised that you no longer need to shield. This means that from 1 August, the government will be advising:
- you can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-19 Secure
- children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing
- you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing
- you should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing
The guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable group remains advisory. More detailed advice will be updated into this guidance as the changes in advice come into effect on 6 July and 1 August.