Soon those across the UK will be able to come out of shielding. As a reminder of the dates those living in England it will be effective from 1st August, Northern Ireland and Scotland it will be effective from 31st July and Wales will be from 16th August.
Specialist centres have advised that most patients will be able to unshield but those patients who are immediately post liver transplant or have autoimmune liver disease while on high dose steroids/immunosuppression, will be advised against going to school and other crowded places. This was the advice from paediatric liver centres even before the coronavirus outbreak.
Update 23 August 2020: A consensus statement was published from the Chief Medical Officers and Deputy Chief Medical Officers of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on the current evidence of risks and benefits to health from schools and childcare settings reopening. The statements advises that “Children and young people who were previously shielding were identified on a precautionary basis at a stage when we had less data on the effects of COVID-19 in children than we do now. Based on our better understanding of COVID-19 the great majority have now been advised they do not need to do so again, and that they should return to school. A small number of children under paediatric care (such as recent transplant or very immunosuppressed children) have been or will be given individual advice about any ongoing need to avoid infection.” Read the full statement here.
Those who will be shielding until the end date also need to be aware that many local restrictions and lockdowns are coming or are in place across the UK and you will be one of the groups more affected by this. If this is the case in your area, you must follow local guidance for those shielding. Those on the Shielded Patients List should receive a text and letter. However, we are aware that these lists may not have been updated since the BSPGHAN guidance so if you have been advised by a specialist that you no longer need to shield please be aware you may still receive a notification.
The measures will vary for each area due to the stage they are at. For example, restrictions in Leicester are currently greater than restrictions in Blackburn with Darwen. Please see below links to advice for those shielding in each of these areas. Remember local council websites should have details about local lockdowns and guidance if applicable in your area. Find your local council at gov.uk.
Statutory sick pay and measures to support working from home or other workplace arrangements should continue if you/your child is asked to continue to shield beyond the date of pausing.
Keep up-to-date with local lockdown/restriction areas and to find out more about how it is managed by visiting this page.
The current BSPGHAN advice on shielding will change on 1st August in line with Government advice. Specialists in paediatric medicine have reviewed the evidence on the level of risk posed to children and young people from COVID-19. The latest evidence indicates that the risk of serious illness for most children and young people is low. Therefore, as stated above, most should be able to come out of shielding on the date set by your country. However, those currently in Group A will need to be aware of any local variations in advice for those shielding if restrictions and lockdowns are actioned in your area. As stated in our previous communications if you are unsure about whether you/your child is in Group A of the shielding list please contact your medical team for discussion.
We know this a very confusing time but hopefully these local lockdowns will help to contain the spread of the virus as quickly as possible whilst allowing an increase of easing in areas where it is possible. While we may not be able to communicate all the measures in every area across the UK, if you are affected by a local lockdown and want to discuss how it impacts you please don’t hesitate to contact us.