Name: Covid Extremely Vulnerable
Description: Covid Extremely Vulnerable

Covid Extremely Vulnerable

How long is the additional guidance to clinically extremely vulnerable people in place for?

The Government has introduced new National Restrictions guidance, which will come into effect on 5 November and will apply until Wednesday 2 December. The advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) will cover this same period. At the end of the period, it is expected to return to a regional approach, and we will issue further guidance at the time

How is this different to Shielding in March?

  • We know that during the first period of national shielding between March and July, many people found the advice very restrictive. The new guidance acknowledges this and provides practical steps to help keep you safe while reducing some of the potentially harmful impacts on mental and social wellbeing of previous shielding guidance
  • Whilst CEV are being advised to stay at home as much as possible, you can go outside to take exercise or to attend essential health appointments
  • There is also no need for self-isolation within your household, although you are advised to social distance where possible and follow the guidance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’

Who will the new guidance apply to?

  • The new guidance applies to individuals who have been deemed to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), meaning that they face the highest risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19. If you are in this group, you may have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this, and you may have been advised to shield in the past. See the guidance on Definition of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable groups for more details
  • Down’s syndrome (adults only) and chronic kidney disease (stage 5) have recently been added as conditions that meet the criteria of extreme clinical vulnerability, and therefore the new guidance also applies to individuals with either condition

Does my whole household have to shield?

  • No. Other members of your household are not required to shield and should follow the new National Restrictions guidance for the general population. That means they should continue to go to work and/or school
  • To further protect yourself from COVID-19, you should try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate. You should also follow the guidance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’
  • Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school

Do children have to go to school?

  • We know that children, even those with existing health conditions, have a very low risk of becoming very unwell from COVID-19. We also know how important it is for children to be able to continue their education. Speak to your child’s specialist doctor or GP if you have not already done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable
  • Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place. Your child’s school will make appropriate arrangements for them to be able to continue their education at home. *Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school

Support Available:
What support will be offered to CEVs?

  • If you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and you need support we will be able to signpost you to where you can get help with shopping, securing a priority supermarket delivery slot
  • If friends and family are not able to collect your prescriptions or medicines for you, then you will also be eligible for free medicines delivery from your community pharmacy
  • *If you cannot work, the Government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until 2 December, which you may be eligible for if you were on payroll before 30 October 2020. Please speak to your employer if you think you are eligible
  • Additionally, the letter you will receive can act as evidence for your employer to show that you cannot work outside your home until 2 December and that you are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA), provided other eligibility criteria are also met

How will CEVs be able to access support?

  • *CEVs can use a new online service to register themselves, or this can be done on behalf of someone else. This service can be found at You’ll be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription

What food support is available for me/CEVs?

  • You are advised not to go to the shops. Use online shopping if you can, or ask friends, family or local charities to collect and deliver shopping for you
  • If you cannot access food, we are able to help you to request priority access to supermarket delivery slots (if you do not already have one) or help with shopping using an NHS Volunteer. Please note that there is no longer a national food box scheme. *NHS Volunteer Responders may also be able to help deliver your food shopping. To arrange support for yourself or someone else call 0808 196 3646

How can I/CEVs access priority supermarket slots?

  • 7 of the UK’s largest supermarkets (Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons, Iceland, Waitrose, Ocado) are continuing to offer priority supermarket slots to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people who need them
  • If you are already receiving priority access to supermarket delivery slots this will continue, you do not need to do anything further
  • *You can use a new online service to register yourself, or on behalf of another CEV individual, to request priority access to a supermarket delivery slot at

How can CEVs access medicines if they cannot go to the pharmacy?

  • If friends and family are not able to collect medicines for you, then you will also be eligible for free medicines delivery
  • Please contact your pharmacy to inform them that you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need your medicines delivered, and they will arrange this free of charge
Last Updated: 05th May 2021