Today - Thursday, April 1 - marks the official end to shielding for the most clinically vulnerable people in Halton.

As lockdown restrictions ease across the country, anyone that is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) has been advised that they no longer need to remain indoors.

All CEV residents will receive a letter from the Government advising them of the new guidance, which includes details of how to keep safe even if they have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

People are being advised to continue to work from home but if this is not possible and shielding employees are returning to their workplace, they will no longer be eligible for statutory sick pay or employment support allowance, however employers could still furlough staff under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Anyone that does leave their home to visit the shops or the pharmacy should consider going at quieter times of the day and maintain a safe distance from other people.

Children and young people on the shielded patient list may also return to school, college or other educational setting.

David Parr, chief executive of Halton Borough Council, said: “This past year has been particularly tough for our clinically vulnerable residents, who have had to do so much to adapt and change their way of life to stay safe from the virus.

“This pausing of shielding will come as a relief for some but it is understandable that there will be others who may be worried or anxious having followed such strict rules for such a long time.

“As we start to see restrictions ease, more people moving around and those who have stayed indoors leaving home, it will be even more important that people who have been shielding remain vigilant to continue to stay safe.

“We must all, as a community, do our bit to continue to keep our most vulnerable people and each other safe, which means respecting social distancing, wearing a face covering, continuing to wash or sanitise hands regularly and minimising contact with people from outside of our household where possible.”

Shielding will only be reintroduced in areas where case numbers are high and will be based on a recommendation from the Government’s chief medical officer.

Anyone who needs help or support is urged to speak to family, friends or a volunteer service and further advice is available by visiting or by ringing 0303 333 4300.