As you will have seen from Rachel’s handy ‘Friday Fact’ last week (read here) as of 1st April 2021, the estimated 4 million extremely clinically vulnerable people who have been shielding themselves for what must feel like a never ending period of time will no longer need to shield and can return to the workplace if they cannot work from home.
Whilst on the one hand this is very positive news and will be welcomed by many, there will be many people who have been shielding that may not yet have received both of their COVID-19 vaccinations. As the virus is still prevalent in our communities, this may therefore cause some hesitance and even perhaps fear amongst those who have been shielding to return to their workplace (if they cannot work from home) and even maybe to return to the way their lives used to be pre-COVID.
This new guidance does not, of course, now mean that all those who were shielding should throw caution to the wind and stop being careful. In fact, what the government do advise is that those people should take extra precautions to protect themselves, to keep their social interactions to a minimum and reduce the amount of time spent in settings where maintaining social distancing is difficult.
You are probably all wondering why the sudden change in guidance? Well the hugely positive news is that this has all come about as a result of not only the fall in the COVID-19 infection rate but also the continued roll out of the vaccine programme, which has seen more than 25 million people in the UK receive their first dose of the vaccine.
I have no doubt that this new guidance will bring with it some upheaval, it is a change isn’t it? And I don’t know about you.. but I find change very difficult. I do, however, feel that it is a positive change, a change which hopefully represents all to come… and is, what we should all take it for… another step closer.