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'Stay at home at all times': Government issues stark new shielding advice for extremely vulnerable in Tier 4

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London on December 19, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced a "stay at home" order for London and southeast England to slow a new coronavirus strain that is significantly more infectious. The new strain of the virus "does appear to be passed on significantly more easily," Johnson said at a televised briefing. He ordered new restrictions for London and south-eastern England from Sunday, saying that under the new "tier four" rules, "residents in those areas must stay at home" at least until December 30. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson's government has issued stark new shielding advice for people in Tier 4 areas. (Toby Melville/pool/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Stark new shielding advice issued for people in Tier 4 areas

  • Clinically extremely vulnerable people told to ‘stay at home at all times’

  • It’s in response to new variant of COVID-19 that is 70% more transmissible and prevalent in London, South East and East of England

  • Visit the Yahoo homepage for more stories

Clinically extremely vulnerable people in Tier 4 areas have been told to “stay at home at all times” in stark new coronavirus shielding advice released on Monday.

The government guidelines read: “This group of the most vulnerable is strongly advised to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.”

It comes after Boris Johnson introduced a new Tier 4 on Saturday in response to a new variant of the virus that is up to 70% more transmissible than the original strain.

Monday’s advice is the same as the shielding guidelines issued during November’s national lockdown.

Watch: 2020: The year of the pandemic

It urges the clinically extremely vulnerable in those Tier 4 areas in London, the South East and the East of England against:

  • socialising. People are urged to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors to exercise or attend health appointments

  • going to work. If people can’t work from home, they are asked to check their eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • going to school

  • visiting shops or pharmacies. The government said “support is available for those who need it while they remain at home”

There is no formal shielding advice currently in place for people in areas outside Tier 4.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people include those whose immune systems may be suppressed, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. A full list is available on the government website.

Watch: What is long COVID?