COVID-19: guidance on protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

Information for protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Applies to England



Advice and guidance for people who may previously have received a letter or email identifying them as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV).

Letter to patients on the end of the shielding programme.

Letter to all parents of clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people on the shielded patient list.

Published 21 March 2020
Last updated 1 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance.

  2. Guidance updated and alternative formats, including translations, easy read, large print and BSL versions, temporarily removed.

  3. Updated 'Guidance for people previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19'.

  4. Added translated, large print and BSL versions. Added link to COVID-19: letter to patients on the end of the shielding programme.

  5. Added large-print and audio versions of the letter to patients on the end of the shielding programme. Added audio version of the guidance for people previously considered as clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

  6. Updated to reflect the end of the shielding programme.

  7. Updated translation versions.

  8. Added note to confirm the end of the shielding programme, and to advise that guidance will be updated shortly.

  9. Children and young people no longer considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

  10. Updated translation versions.

  11. Added easy read version.

  12. Added British Sign Language version.

  13. Added large print and audio versions.

  14. Added information about vaccinations for eligible children and young people. Updated section on socialising inside and outside the home.

  15. Removed the audio and British Sign Language versions.

  16. Removed previous version of the guidance. Removed large print and translations while updating.

  17. Guidance updated as per government’s advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people to, as a minimum, follow the same guidance as the general population.

  18. Added link to guidance on national restrictions.

  19. Added audio and British Sign Language (BSL) versions.

  20. Updated translations.

  21. Added large print guidance.

  22. Added link to guidance regarding new COVID-19 variant.

  23. Updated information on meeting friends and family inside and outside the home.

  24. Updated translations.

  25. Added easy read, large print, British Sign Language, audio and translated versions. Added links to guidance from devolved administrations.

  26. Translations and easy read temporarily removed.

  27. Removed references to national lockdown, updated guidance to reflect lifting of restrictions and vaccine roll out.

  28. Updated translations. Added link to new letter to all people on the Shielded Patient List that takes effect from 1 April 2021.

  29. Updated guidance to reflect new shielding end date, and updated shopping and support sections.

  30. Updated definition of clinically extremely vulnerable groups.

  31. Added Easy read version.

  32. Added Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu translations.

  33. Added British Sign Language and audio versions.

  34. Added large print version.

  35. Updated guidance for the period of national lockdown.

  36. Removed advice on Christmas.

  37. Updated easy-read guidance. Temporarily removed translations, British Sign Language videos, audio and large print versions.

  38. Updated to clarify rules in Tier 4 on socialising outdoors.

  39. Added new shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable in Tier 4.

  40. Added the easy-read version.

  41. Added British Sign Language videos, large print, audio and translated versions.

  42. Updated guidance with information on local restrictions from 2 December. Removed easy-read and translated versions.

  43. Added 2 December guidance.

  44. Added updated translations in Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu.

  45. Removed reference letters and included link to COVID-19: letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people.

  46. Added updated easy-read guidance.

  47. Updated information on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (on furlough).

  48. Added 2 reference letters and updated guidance on how to get a test for COVID-19.

  49. Updated guidance in line with national restrictions commencing 5 November 2020. Easy-read guidance temporarily removed and will be updated shortly.

  50. Added updated easy-read guidance.

  51. Added search by postcode link.

  52. Guidance updated regarding local COVID alert levels. Temporarily removed translations, easy-read guide and guidance for young people.

  53. Remove reference to falling case rates.

  54. Updated translated versions.

  55. Added new guidance for young people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have been shielding.

  56. Updated translations and added Bulgarian, Hindi and Nepali.

  57. Added new version of easy-read guidance.

  58. Added paragraph clarifying the position for travelling to work in local lockdown areas.

  59. Removed out-of-date guidance for young people.

  60. Main guidance updated to include information related to the pausing of shielding.

  61. Added updated translations.

  62. Updated local guidance link to point to Leicester City Council page.

  63. Added link to local lockdowns guidance.

  64. Updated guidance to include clinical risk to children and young people. These changes apply from 6 July 2020.

  65. Updated guidance with changes that apply from 6 July 2020.

  66. Updated guidance on shielding and social distancing.

  67. Easy-read guidance added.

  68. Updated guidance.

  69. Updated guidance for young people to reflect that those who are shielding can now leave their homes.

  70. Updated guidance in line with changes to the regulations which come into force on 1 June 2020.

  71. Updated guidance.

  72. Updated information on symptoms.

  73. Added translated guidance.

  74. Updated 'Shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19'.

  75. Added translated guidance.

  76. Added Coronavirus (COVID-19): an easy-read guide on protecting extremely vulnerable people.

  77. First published.