The return of shielding: Boris Johnson urges 2.2 million vulnerable people to isolate themselves until they are vaccinated against the coronavirus
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tough new restrictions on Monday
- People with serious underlying illnesses need to reassign themselves, despite concerns about the impact this could have on their mental health
- The new rules also included the reintroduction of the slogan "Protect the NHS"
Millions of clinically at risk people were ordered Monday evening to stay indoors until vaccination.
The Prime Minister has brought back the "protection" guidelines for people with serious health problems.
He said, "If you are extremely clinically susceptible, we encourage you to start shielding again and you will receive a letter shortly about what this means for you."
More than 2.2 million people in England – nearly four percent of the population – are on the NHS Digital Protected Patients List.
They were told to stay home and only go to medical appointments and exercise and not go to work even if they cannot work from home.
However, Mr Johnson promised that anyone on the screening list will be offered the vaccine by mid-February.
He added, “If we can vaccinate all of these groups, we will have removed a large number of people from the path of the virus. That will eventually allow us to lift many of the restrictions. & # 39;
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tough new restrictions on Monday evening to contain the spread of the coronavirus
The shield was introduced in March and suspended at the end of July. The aim was to protect those at greatest risk of serious illness and death from Covid-19.
Those at high clinical risk include people who have had an organ transplant and people with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy.
The return of the shielding guide comes despite warnings that it had catastrophic effects on mental and physical health during the initial lockdown.
Officials admitted that the program was a "blunt tool" that may have protected people but had a major impact on their mental health.
The Prime Minister also made the controversial decision to bring back the “Protect the NHS” tagline from the initial lockdown.
Experts have warned that this slogan means that people with non-covid disorders such as heart attacks and strokes will be kept out of hospitals.
This meant A&E attendance decreased by up to 50 percent and contributed to an increase in “excessive” deaths from other diseases during the first wave.
People at risk will have to "shield" again by staying indoors until they are vaccinated, Johnson said. Pictured: A family in Cheshire watches Johnson's announcement Monday night
James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy at Disability Equality Charity Scope, said, “The Prime Minister has again interviewed millions of people with disabilities who are clinically extremely vulnerable to protection.
“This will frighten many disabled people as they face insecure months before their loved ones and have little clarity about what support the government will provide.
“It is important that this shield is not forgotten, as many have done over the last year.
& # 39; 2020 was a busy year as many disabled people were isolated and struggled to get access to essential health care, food and basic necessities.
"The government must take urgent action to prevent previous lockdowns from failing and to ensure that disabled people receive adequate support this time around."