Please see below for the latest information about shielding in England:

This information was last updated on 15 October 2020 at 11:06.

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Local COVID alert level in Northumberland is HIGH (tier 2)

The Government has confirmed that Northumberland is subject to the COVID alert level HIGH (tier 2) of national restrictions that came into force on Wednesday 14 October. To find out more about what this means for residents of Northumberland, please see our dedicated ‘Local restrictions’ page: 
There is also information on the Governments website: 

What does this mean for clincally vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable people?

Now that Northumberland is subject to COVID alert level HIGH (tier 2), the Government has issued some additional guidance for those who are most at risk from coronavirus. There is guidance for the ‘clinically vulnerable’ and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.  
This new guidance will help you to take protective action in your everyday lives, while continuing with as much normality as possible. The guidance is tailored to the new COVID alert levels and will ensure an extra layer of protection that is adapted to your location and level of risk, as indicated by the COVID alert level in NorthumberlandHIGH (tier 2)

What does 'clinically vulnerable' mean?

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions) 
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
    • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis 
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure 
    • chronic kidney disease 
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis 
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy 
    • diabetes 
    • a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets) 
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above) 
  • pregnant women

What does 'clinically extremely vulnerable' mean?

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable include those with conditions affecting the immune system, certain cancers, and organ transplant recipients, amongst others. If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past.  

What is the new guidance?

Please click on the links below to see the new additional guidance for those who are: 

Advice for clinically vulnerable people in a ‘HIGH’ alert (tier 2) area

If you are clinically vulnerable you: 
  • can go outside as much as you like but you should still try to keep your overall social interactions low 
  • can visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops, whilst keeping 2 metres away from others wherever possible or 1 metre plus other precautions 
  • should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace 

Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people in a ‘HIGH alert (tier 2) area

As a clinically extremely vulnerable person in a COVID alert level HIGH (tier 2) area, you should: 
  • reduce the number of different people met outside, avoid travel except for essential journeys 
  • work from home where possible and reduce the number of shopping trips made or go at quieter times of the day 
  • still go to work if you cannot work from home because all workplaces should be COVID secure 
  • children should still attend school 
This is on top of restrictions for everyone to not meet other households indoors, unless part of a support bubble, and to only meet in groups of up to six people outdoors.

Further information for 'clinically extremely vulnerable' people

It is extremely important that, as clinically extremely vulnerable people, you continue to receive the care and support you need to help stay safe and well. Providers of social care and medical services are making every effort to ensure services remain open and as safe as possible. 
You should continue to seek support from the NHS for your existing health conditions. If you are told to go to hospital for a routine appointment, then the NHS has measures in place to make sure that it is safe for you to do so. 
There are currently 2.2 million people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. The Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS will write to all those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and their doctors, outlining the changes to the guidance. Anyone advised to shield in the future will be written to individually as before. 

For anyone struggling with support needs, and are unable to get help from family, friends or a local support group due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the council has set up a Community Response Hub as part of Northumberland Communities Together

Please email, or call 01670 620015 between 9am to 6pm, seven days a week.

Find out more information about Northumberland Communities Together here.


If you are worried about the immediate welfare of a child or adult please use OneCall 01670 536400 - open 24/7, 365 days a year