This page has vital information to support anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and shielding.
Although the infection rate is dropping again and the vaccine rollout is underway, it's important that you adhere to the shielding guidelines on this page until March 31 at the earliest.
From February 17, the number of residents in Sefton classed as clinically extremely vulnerable has increased after research from Government and new predictive risk model based on multiple risk factors, identified them as being at greater risk from Covid-19 than first thought.
If you are not classed as clinically extremely vulnerable but believe you should be, please read the definition of clinically extremely vulnerable groups at the Government website for more information.
Those people can also access additional support.
You can also visit the latest government guidance for more info.
You can go outside, but try to keep all contact with others outside of your household to a minimum, and avoid busy areas. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household.
You are advised to stay at home as much as possible.
You can still remain in your support bubble, but you cannot meet with friends and family you do not live with unless they are part of your support bubble. This is part of the wider regulations in place in your area.
Try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.
You are strongly advised to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus in your area may be significantly higher. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work.
You may want to speak to your employer about taking on an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily to enable you to work from home where possible.
If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. You should have a conversation with your employer about whether this is possible.
As you are being advised not to attend work, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The formal shielding letter you receive will act as evidence for your employer and the Department of Work and Pensions that you are advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA.
Members of the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home
As our knowledge of COVID-19 has grown, we now know that very few children and young people are at highest risk of severe illness due to the virus. Doctors have therefore been reviewing all children and young people who were initially identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to confirm whether they are still thought to be at highest risk.
If you have already discussed this with your child’s doctors and they have confirmed your child is still considered clinically extremely vulnerable, your child should follow shielding advice and should not attend school, because the risk of exposure to the virus in your area may currently be very high.
Your school or college will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at home.
Children and young people in the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend school. Children and young people whose parents or carers are clinically extremely vulnerable should also continue to go to school.
You are advised to stay at home as much as possible and not to travel unless essential.
You are advised not to go to the shops. Use online shopping if you can, or ask others to collect and deliver shopping for you (friends and family, or NHS Volunteer Responders).
You can register to request access to priority supermarket deliveries, if you do not have someone you can rely on to go shopping for you. If you already have a priority delivery slot with a supermarket, that will continue – you do not need to do anything further. When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription.
Registering on the site just gives you priority. It does not mean you’ll definitely get a delivery slot. If you want access to priority supermarket deliveries, you will also need to set up an account with at least one supermarket and book slots yourself.
If you need other forms of help, including support to register for a priority supermarket delivery slot, you should contact your local council directly. Find out how your local council can help.
You are strongly advised not to go to a pharmacy because the risk of exposure to the virus is significantly higher in your area.
In the first instance, you should ask if any friends, family or volunteers can collect medicines for you.
If friends and family are not able to collect your medicines for you, and you and/or the pharmacy are unable to arrange a volunteer, then you will be eligible for free medicines delivery. Please contact your pharmacy to inform them that you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need your medicines delivered, and they will arrange this free of charge.
You can still receive informal care at home from people within your support bubble.
You can still receive care at home from professional social care and medical professionals.
If you need additional help to follow this guidance, your local council may be able to help. If you are advised to shield you will be able to register yourself or someone else to:
- request access to a priority supermarket delivery slot (if you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you will keep them)
- tell your council if you need support to follow shielding guidance, especially if you are unable to arrange this yourself or with the help of friends, family or other support networks
- make sure your details, such as your address, are up to date
When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription. It is helpful if you register even if you do not have any support needs at this time. You can log in and update your needs if circumstances change at any time.
National Shielding Support Service (NSSS)
You can use this service to:
- get access to priority supermarket deliveries
- ask for someone to contact you about any local support that’s available
- update your details - for example, your address
You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.
If you’ve already got priority supermarket deliveries, you’ll keep them
You can register with your unique NHS number here
- How do I get access to priority supermarket deliveries?
If you were registered before, you will keep your priority access for supermarket delivery slots.
If you did not register before, you can do so here
Once you have registered and requested priority access to supermarket deliveries their details will be shared with the participating supermarkets (Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco, Ocado, Waitrose, Morrisons, Iceland) and you should be able to access a delivery slot.
- Once I have registered, how quickly can I get priority slots?
You must have an account with the supermarket, using the same email address you used to register on the National Shielding Service site.
You should register with a few supermarkets to maximise your chances of getting a priority slot.
You should be matched within a week, however in the run up to Christmas this might take longer.
- Will I keep my priority delivery slot when the national restrictions end?
However, between 6 November and 23 December Asda is suspending priority access and you will only be able to see and book the same slots as other customers.
- When I have registered for access to priority supermarket deliveries, will there be confirmation of next steps?
Once you submit a form to the website you will receive a communication the same day telling you whether you are eligible and telling you to register with the seven participating supermarkets.
- Are the 7 participating supermarkets still offering the same priority access over the Christmas period?
Asda: Between 6 November and 23 December, Asda is suspending priority access and you will only be able to see and book the same slots as other customers
Sainsbury’s: You will be able to view slots 3 weeks ahead (compared to 2 weeks ahead for non-priority access customers).
Between 19th and 27th December, inactive customers will have priority access temporarily suspended, meaning those priority access individuals will only be able to see and book the same lots as non-priority access customers. If you’re a priority customer who has been active with Sainsbury’s (i.e. shopped with them in the last 12 weeks) you’ll still have priority access during this period. Sainsbury’s is closed from 24th to 26th December inclusive so no orders will be fulfilled for anyone during this time. After 27th December, the priority access system will return to normal operation.
- What if I need priority supermarket access but need to use someone else’s supermarket account to access priority deliveries, for example because the individual who is clinically extremely vulnerable is a child using a parent’s account?
When you register with NSSS, use the email address of the person who will be ordering from the supermarket.
- What does ‘priority’ mean in practice?
Although different supermarkets operate slightly differently from each other, ‘priority’ broadly means that you will be able to see more slots than non-priority access customers can, and therefore are more likely to be able to access a slot that suits you.
- What if there are no slots available?
If the lack of slots means you are at risk of running out of food, contact us on 0345 140 0845 and we can look into matching you with a community volunteer who can get your shopping.
Alternatively, you can request help from an NHS volunteer responder in gaining access to food and other essential items by calling 0808 196 3646 or visiting the website
Sefton Council and CVS Support
Many of our residents who need help during the coronavirus crisis are being supported by their family, friends or neighbours.
For those who don’t have that support network in place, we want to make sure you know how to access help.
You can get support by completing our online form. The information provided will help us understand what type of support you require.
We will try to match your needs as far as possible and will be prioritising the help and support accordingly. We are currently aiming to respond to your request within three working days.
Alternatively, you can get support by calling one of our team on 0345 140 0845. They will ask you a few questions and your information will be shared with Sefton CVS (Community Volunteer Service) who are co-ordinating the support in the community.
NHS Volunteer Responders
NHS Volunteer Responders will also continue to 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.