Coronavirus - information and advice
Shielding advice - updated 23 June 2020
The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that coronavirus COVID-19 infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks. This guidance remains advisory.
People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but may now choose to leave their home, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, you may do so with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household or you may choose to spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.
If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review.
Full information can be found here.
New guidance on wearing face masks and coverings
From 24 July, face coverings are now required in shops and supermarkets – in addition to public transport where they were already required.
All staff in hospitals across England should wear surgical masks from 15 June, and that all visitors and outpatients must wear face coverings at all times.
You are required to wear a face covering in all of the below:
- public transport
- indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
- shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- indoor shopping centres
- banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.
For more information, please visit the Government's website.
Attending hospital or outpatient site for an appointment
If you need to attend one of our hospital or outpatient sites, we would ask that you wear a face covering. Where possible we would ask that you come with your own face covering but if you do not have access to one, we will provide one for you. Please check at the reception desk where there will be face masks, hand sanitisers and a clinical waste bin for used masks.
If you are shielding and need to attend one of our hospital or outpatient sites, we will provide you with a surgical mask, even if you have brought your own face covering.
What is a face covering?
You can use scarves or other textile items as a face covering - the covering should cover the mouth and noise while allowing the wearing to breathe comfortably - more guidance is available on the government website.
On 30 July the Government extended the self-isolation period to 10 days for those in the community who have Covid-19 symptoms or a positive test result.
In symptomatic people COVID-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.
Anyone who does not have symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms.
COVID-19 symptoms are:
- a high temperature
- new, continuous cough
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste