Tier 4 shielding advice for vulnerable residents

Essex residents who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and living under Tier 4 restrictions, are once again being advised by the Government to shield in order to protect themselves from catching Covid-19.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will receive a letter from the Government, outlining the new guidance, including to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.

The National Shielding Service has been reactivated and at a local level, the Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) can provide vulnerable Essex residents with a single point of access to the practical, emotional and specialist support they need. Practical support on offer ranges from help accessing priority supermarket shopping slots, volunteers collecting medicines and befriending support via a phone buddy.

Residents can access the Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) online or by calling 0300 303 9988. The EWS is available to all Essex residents, regardless of which Tier they live in.

It is open until 5pm on 24 December and for emergency support only between 10am-12pm on 25 December and 10am-1pm on 26, 27 and 28 December. Normal service resumes between 29-31 December. The EWS will be closed on New Year’s Day with a normal service resuming again on Saturday 2 January.

The Government has also issued further guidance for vulnerable residents living in Tier 2 areas. In Essex, this currently applies to Uttlesford, Tendring and Colchester.

Although not required to shield in the same way as those living in Tier 4 areas, it is important for clinically extremely vulnerable residents living in Tier 2 areas to continue to take precautions, including keeping the number of different people they meet with consistently low.

Help is available through the Essential Living Fund. Adults and families who are struggling to pay their bills and for essential household items during the Covid-19 pandemic, and live in Essex, can apply to The Essex Essential Living Fund by through Southend Borough Council.

This shielding guidance is officially in place for the next two weeks, but could potentially remain in place for up to four weeks.

Last updated 22 December 2020