What are the new lockdown rules for those shielding and who is considered vulnerable?

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PEOPLE who have been shielding during the coronavirus pandemic will be able to enjoy more freedoms from tomorrow (July 6).

It comes as the government changed its guidance for people shielding after the number of infections decreased over the last few weeks.

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Since the lockdown started in March, millions of vulnerable people were asked to stay at home and avoid any contact with others.

But these rules are changing from tomorrow. So, what’s different?

From tomorrow, people who have been shielding will be able to meet up to six people outdoors.

When meeting people from different households, social distancing will need to be observed.

However, they will not need to observe social distancing with other members of their household.

If they live alone, they will also be able to form a “support bubble” with another 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.

From August 1, the government will be advising that shielding will be paused.

People will be told to observe social distancing rather than full shielding measures. 

This means millions of people who have been shielding during the Covid-19 pandemic will be able to return to work, as long as their workplace is coronavirus-safe.

Clinically vulnerable children will be able to return to school if they are eligible and meet their friends again.

It will be possible to go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – always maintaining strict social distancing.

The government has said the guidance remains indicative and, while people who have been shielding will be able to enjoy more freedoms, it is important to remember they continue to remain vulnerable.

The list of people considered vulnerable includes:

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