No “shields” now for Covid

RMA Newsletter

As the UK records high levels of new Covid-19 cases and deaths this week we have heard about the new three tier system for lockdown measures to stifle transmission. We summarise below from the full guidelines here. Rother is currently in the medium or green tier.

For Covid-19 alert level medium (tier 1 – Rother is currently in this tier)

  • Social distancing; wash or sanitise hands; face coverings in enclosed spaces
  • “Rule of six” indoors and outdoors
  • Pubs and restaurants close at 10pm

For Covid-19 alert level high (tier 2 – London is tier 1 but at risk of being placed in tier 2)

  • As for tier 1 plus
  • No different households mixing indoors

For Covid-19 alert level very high (tier 3 – mostly in the North of England)

  • As for tier 2 plus
  • No household mixing indoors or outdoors
  • Pubs and bars not serving food will close
  • Guidance against travelling out of area

What about the shielded

More than two million people in England on the government’s shielding list before 1 August were formally considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” to Covid-19 because of underlying health issues and with rising infection many are anxious to know whether they should stay in their homes as they did before August 1.

This group includes people with conditions affecting the immune system, certain cancers, organ transplant recipients and those with respiratory problems.

“Shielding can lead to significant difficulties”

The chief medical officer has said that “the short version [about shielding] is that people who were previously in the shielding group remain at greater risk and we would advise them to take greater precautions. However, we recognise that shielding can lead to significant difficulties, including mental distress and loneliness.

“Therefore we are taking a new approach: For most people, shielding is not necessary this time, except in the areas with the highest rates of infection and for those at the highest risk. These will be notified by a new letter and given specific instructions. For the remainder on the earlier shielded list, they should “take precautions [appropriate for the applicable tier above] and follow strict social distancing, but there is no need to stay home.”

His deputy has said: “The new system will provide clarity on how best those in this group can keep themselves as safe as possible depending on the rates of transmission in their local area. Whilst advisory, I would urge all those affected to follow the guidance and to continue to access health services for their medical conditions.

“We will keep all this under review and fine tune the approach to make sure everyone is clear about the safest way to go about their daily lives, particularly over the coming winter”

RMA reviews its support for vulnerable

With these changes, Rye Mutual Aid has been reviewing its continued support to all those vulnerable members of the community:

  • with symptoms;
  • in quarantine or self-isolating
  • and now anybody shielding under the new guidance

to ensure that the necessary community support remains in place.

To this end we are refreshing our letters to households, the posters, website and Facebook pages and we have revised the lists to take account of those volunteers who have moved on, because of family or job commitments.

As Rye Mutual Aid continues to seek to add value to the wide range of support provided by the authorities and NHS, do come to us in the first instance. If you ask for support, and we consider that there are others better suited to help, then we will advise. As a voluntary body we continue to need those in the community who are prepared to help others. If you can help in any way then do please contact us at

Image Credits: Rye Mutual Aid .


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