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From Saturday 1st August the Government will no longer be advising those on its Shielded Patient List to shield.

People who have been shielding and their carers who have been shielding with them have been asked to return to work, children can return to school and this group can now go outside for exercise, go to the supermarket or places of worship, whilst maintaining strict social distancing.

The National Shielding Service will no longer deliver food parcels or medicines, however NHS responders will continue to deliver food that has been bought and individual prescriptions.

As the easing of these shielding restrictions come into force, Carers UK is urging Government to ensure that the needs of unpaid carers aren’t forgotten.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“While the easing of shielding restrictions will mean that many people can enjoy some freedoms they haven’t had for the last four months, this doesn’t mean that life becomes easier for carers.

“Many of the country’s face-to-face day services are still closed or operating at a reduced capacity and so a large proportion of carers are still unable to take breaks from caring, or return to work as they might like to. Not being able to access outside support means many more carers are now having to consider reducing their hours or giving up work to care, with significant consequences for their finances.

“It is absolutely vital that care and support services are reinstated as soon as possible. Until then, the furlough scheme should be extended for those whose caring responsibilities mean they are unable to work while many services are not operating.

“Previous research shows that more than 100,000 carers relied on foodbanks during the lockdown. With food parcels now ending, the Government must ensure carers and the people they support don’t go hungry and are directed to services that can help them.”

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