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Shielders “absolutely terrified” because tighter restrictions haven’t been put in place by government

Many shielders are angry that the second national lockdown has not reinforced the rules of shielding.

2.2 million people who were categorised as “extremely clinically vulnerable” were advised by the government to shield, which means to isolate and reduce contact with others, but shielding was paused on 31 July.

Rosie Red, 58, is an extremely clinically vulnerable person. She said that the government was “wrong” not to reintroduce shielding.

Rosie Red

“I think it’s frightening and disgusting – I feel like we don’t have a voice and that we are being abandoned. Our lives are completely irrelevant to [the government].”

Rosie added that shielders were crying out for help and support, but they were being ignored.

Kerry Bell, 56, is also someone whose health conditions meant she had to shield during the first lockdown. She said: “I’ve had to come back to work obviously because without the government’s support of people to shield, we’ve got no option.”

Kerry Bell

She said she felt as if she had been “thrown under a bus” due to the lack of government support.

“It’s scary and I don’t honestly think the government are taking it seriously.”

62% of those who were advised by the government to shield reported that they were fully following official advice.

Kerry added that she felt the uncertainty about shielding had left extremely clinically vulnerable people’s mental health “more compromised” then when shielding was enforced by the government.

“I’ve noticed that mental health issues have grown amongst shielders since we got out of lockdown – it’s absolute terrifying,” she said.

ONS statistics found 35% of those shielding said their mental health had gotten worse during the coronavirus pandemic. The figures also showed that almost 34% of disabled adults in Great Britain, who make up a large portion of the shielding population, reported high levels of anxiety at the beginning of July.

James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy, Impact and Social Change at disability equality charity Scope, said: “We urge the government to provide more detail and accessible advice about the renewed form of shielding. The guidance for people, who are at most risk from Coronavirus, to minimise social contact and take precautions is vague at best.”   

He adds: “Disabled people felt forgotten by Government during the first wave and must not be abandoned now.”

A recent survey by Scope revealed that a fifth of disabled people will not leave their homes until a vaccine is found. Scope’s survey also found that over 40% of respondents think life will be worse for disabled people after the pandemic.


  1. This is 100% the situation for shielders and their carers . The government can’t have it both ways , in one hand to stress the dangerous level this virus has pushed the NHS to ….then say the CEV’s children must attend school . To offer furlough to everyone apart from the CEV who have to leave work to protect themselves . They get SSP😡 , it’s pathetic and discriminatory . Most of the casualty’s have underlying health issues , most on ventilator’s are CEV . The death toll is avoidable …..bust they must take this risk seriously ,provide support and advice way beyond a mass produced letter . They need to see where this is going …( see ,Care Homes in the first wave ).


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