From 1 April, if you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable you will no longer be advised to shield.
However, you should continue to take extra precautions to protect yourself.
Keep following the guidance
Despite being advised to stop shielding, it’s vital that you continue to follow the guidelines and stay safe.
- Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 - gov.uk website
If it’s possible for you to work from home, you should do so. If this is not possible then you should return to your place of work.
Your employer should be abiding by the regulations set out by Government to help keep you safe.
Please bear in mind, however, that your workplace may look different with Coronavirus safety measures in place, which may include additional screens, hand sanitiser stations, and one-way systems.
If you’ve stayed at home for a long period of time and not driven, you may understandably be feeling nervous about getting back behind the wheel.
To help to ease your concerns, you may want to enlist the help of a driving instructor, to help you regain your confidence.
Accessing the NHS
If you are worried about accessing health care, we assure you that the NHS is doing everything possible to keep you safe. It’s important that you go to any appointments you have booked in.
If you already have priority access to supermarket delivery slots this will continue until 21 June. If you would now rather visit a supermarket in person, you will notice some changes.
The layout may have been altered to allow for social distancing; you will see sanitising stations as you enter the store for you to use on your hands and trolleys/basket; signage may be on the floor as a reminder to keep your distance and the majority of people will be wearing face masks or visors.
These are just things to bear in mind on your first trip.
Returning to school and college
Your child’s transition out of shielding may seem daunting for both of you, but we want to assure you that support is available, should you need it, to make the adjustment easier.
From Thursday 1 April, all clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) children should attend early years provision, school, college, wraparound childcare and out-of-school settings.
Unless, however, they are one of the very small number of children under paediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend.
CEV students who are enrolled in practical, or practice-based (including creative arts) courses should also return to in-person teaching.
If your child is of secondary school age, they will be required to undertake Coronavirus tests twice a week at home, even if they don’t have symptoms.
Your child's school will be supplying sufficient testing kits to enable this to happen. Testing kits are also available at various locations across Oldham:
Parents and carers are also able to get testing kits and are advised to carry out regular testing as well.
- Shielding support - GOV.UK website
- Oldham Helpline – 0161 770 7007
Mental health support
We understand that this past year has affected the mental health and wellbeing of many Oldham residents, especially those who are shielding.
It is normal during these uncertain and unusual times to feel anxious or low, but help is available.
TOG Mind are here to support any worries you may have around low mood, anxiety, or if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Phone - 0161 330 9223 or visit
- TOG Mind website
Age UK will still be offering support and reassurance, so if you need a friendly chat call them Monday to Friday 9am–4pm
- Phone Age Uk - 0161 633 0213
Every Mind Matters website is also really useful:
- Mind Matters - NHS website
If you’re unsure about anything or need help and support to address any concerns you have, local support and advice is also available via our helpline.
Our trained advisors will be able to help you between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm, with the exception of bank holidays.
Urdu, Punjabi and Bangla translations are available 11am–2pm.
- Phone 0161 770 7007
If you cannot or prefer not to speak to the Helpline team over the phone, Breakthrough UK has set up a text service.
Texts will be responded to where possible within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.
- Text 07860 022876.
Vaccinations in Oldham are progressing well, but if you have not yet received your first dose, please contact your GP as you should have been on the priority list.
Keeping up to date
As we have seen throughout recent months, advice can change at short notice.
We want to make sure that we can share the latest advice and support with you as things change.