COVID-19: government announces measures to ‘shield’ the most vulnerable

Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 22 March 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.

On the afternoon of Sunday 22 March, the Prime Minister and the Housing Minister Robert Jenrick announced new measures to ‘shield 1.5million people who are the most clinically vulnerable to suffering complications from COVID-19 infection.

A list of conditions will be available online, but the NHS will be contacting individuals to make sure they are aware that they should follow the new restrictions. The instruction from the government is:

  • These individuals must not leave home for the next 12 weeks – not even to buy food
  • Individuals will start to receive letters from Tuesday 24 March (although we know that some have already received them)
  • Those who live with them do not have to self- isolate but they should practice guidance on social distancing
  • Carers both formal and informal can continue to visit but they must follow Public Health England guidance
  • There will be opportunities to volunteer to help with the enormous task of supporting these individuals and details on this will be announced shortly (calling to mind the new Volunteer Leave rights in the Emergency Coronavirus Bill which is coming before the House of Commons on Monday 23 March)
  • There was no clarification on how this absence would be treated, given that it is a medically advised self-isolation, it’s likely to be treated as sickness absence

Keeping you updated on how to protect your business through COVID-19

In these uncertain times, our HR and Employment Law experts are closely following the daily government updates to bring you the latest news and help you understand the help available to you.

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