New advice for people who shielded from Covid - this is what to do if you live in the North East
More than two million people who shielded during the peak of the pandemic have been given new advice on what to do depending on the Covid alert level in their area.
The Government said none of the alert levels in place in England will automatically trigger a warning for those who shielded before to shield again and stay home at all times.
But those living in the highest risk areas, known as Tier 3 or Covid alert level three, could be advised to adopt formal shielding in future if necessary.
They would receive a letter setting out the precautions they should take.
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Shielding, which was paused in England from August 1, aimed to protect those at greatest risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19.
On Tuesday, October 13, the Government set out updated guidance for all of those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, and who shielded during the first wave of the pandemic.
What does this mean for people in the North East?
The North East falls under Tier 2, or Covid alert level two, under the new tiered system of restrictions set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, October 12.
This is what the new shielding guidance says for affected people living in those areas.
For Covid alert level high (Tier 2): People should reduce the number of different people met outside, avoid travel except for essential journeys, work from home where possible and reduce the number of shopping trips made or go at quieter times of the day.
People can still go to work if they cannot work from home and children should still attend school.
This is on top of restrictions for everyone to not meet other households indoors, unless part of a support bubble, and to only meet in groups of up to six people outdoors.
What about those living in the other tiers?
For Tier 1, people should strictly observe social distancing, meet others outside where possible, limit unnecessary journeys on public transport and work from home where possible.
People should still go to work and children should still attend school. This is on top of restrictions for everyone to only meet in groups of up to six people.
People should also significantly reduce shopping trips, and if possible use online delivery or ask people in their household, support bubble or volunteers to collect food and medicines.
People in these areas are encouraged to still go outside for exercise, and can still go to school and to work if they cannot work from home.
The Government added that all those who shielded previously are already helped by wider protection measures not previously in place earlier in the pandemic.
Letters will be sent out to those affected, detailing the new guidance.
Deputy chief medical officer for England Dr Jenny Harries urged those in the shielding group to follow the updated advice.