Covid shielding UK: What are the shielding rules and when is it ending?

31 March 2021, 10:50

Shielding in the UK will officially end on 1st April 2021 in the UK
Shielding in the UK will officially end on 1st April 2021 in the UK. Picture: Getty

By Zoe Adams

Shielding under coronavirus restrictions are officially coming to an end in the UK but what were the rules? And what's the official end date? Here's everything you need to know.

The UK confirmed new additions to the shielding list in February 2021 as 1.7million more vulnerable people were told to stay home to protect themselves from coronavirus - and now, shielding advice is officially coming to an end.

After almost a year of being told to take extra precaution and stay at home to protect themselves from Covid, those who were asked to shield can now take precautions to resume to some normality, including meeting in parks in groups of six.

Those who were extremely clinically vulnerable, people with specific cancers, those with respiratory conditions and many more were just some residents of England who were asked to shield under the coronavirus rules.

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So who is on the shielding list in the UK? What are the shielding rules? And when will shielding end? Here’s the latest information:

Those shielding can go out but must stick to strict social distancing rules
Shielding rules included sticking too stick to strict social distancing rules. Picture: PA

Who should be shielding in the UK?

A full and extensive list of those who should be shielding in the UK is available on the government website which you can see here.

Some groups of people who should be shielding, which means remaining at home as much as possible, include organ transplant recipients, people with specific cancers or are undergoing active chemotherapy, people with severe respiratory conditions and adults with Down’s syndrome.

New additions include those with very high BMIs, certain ethnicity groups and area deprivation according to your postcode.

Shielding UK: If on the list you are advised to stay at home as much as possible
Shielding UK: If on the list you are advised to stay at home as much as possible. Picture: PA

What does shielding mean and what are the rules?

During the UK’s first lockdown, those told to shield were required to stay at home at all times. Now however, they are just being advised to be extra cautious.

The shielding advice now strongly advises those on the list to remain at home as much as possible but you are permitted to go out for exercise and attend medical appointments.

You should avoid busy areas and maintain strict social distancing at all times.

When does shielding end in the UK?

England has officially put the end date for shielding in the UK at 1st April 2021 as the rest of the UK enjoy the first lot of lockdown restrictions easing.