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Support for residents continues as shielding scheme is paused

Published Friday, 31 July 2020

As further changes to shielding advice come into force from 1 August, City of York Council is reminding residents that help is still available should people need it.

From 1 August the government will pause shielding. This means that:

  • the government will no longer be advising you to shield
  • the support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care will stop
  • NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food you buy, prescriptions and essential items to you if you need it
  • you will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you registered by 17 July)

However the Council is keen to reiterate that the coronavirus helpline remains open and the Council, working with communities and the city’s amazing volunteers, stands ready to continue to support people.

From 1 August, those shielding will be advised they can go out to more places and see more people, for example, the advice is:

  • you can go to work, as long as the workplace is COVID-secure – but carry on working from home if you can
  • children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can go back to school (when the rest of their class goes back)
  • you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise – keeping 2 metres away wherever possible and wear a face covering where in public places you can’t socially distance. Face coverings are mandatory in shops and on public transport, although there are some exemptions for those with certain medical conditions such as those with breathing difficulties. More information is available at

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive member for Culture, Leisure and Communities said: “Working with the city’s incredible volunteers, our great charities and local businesses, we have been supporting thousands of residents across York. From delivering over 3000 food parcels, shopping and pharmacy deliveries, hundreds of social contacts have been made offering isolated people someone to talk to by phone or a socially-distanced doorstep natter.

“Whilst the advice to shield has been paused, the Council’s support hasn’t been – we are still here for you, and will be whatever happens over the next few months. I would urge anyone who needs help to ask for it by contacting our Coronavirus helpline on 01904 551550 or emailing

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health at City of York Council said: “We know the past few months have been incredibly difficult for those shielding and their friends and family. Whilst it is positive that transmission rates are low enough for the shielding advice to change we all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and each other by social distancing, washing our hands, wearing face coverings and staying at home and getting tested if anyone has symptoms.

“Help is still available from our coronavirus helpline so please get in touch if you need it. This support can include having someone friendly to talk to as it is so important we all try to look after our mental and physical health.”