The following guidance is taken from the government's coronavirus recovery strategy.
- Extremely vulnerable people will be advised to continue shielding for the foreseeable future.
- People aged over 70, pregnant women and people with some chronic conditions will no longer be advised to shield, but will still be advised to avoid social contact as far as possible.
- People in specified high risk groups for coronavirus will be advised to continue shielding for the foreseeable future. This means not leaving the house at all and avoiding any face-to-face contact with people outside of their household. This group includes many housing association residents, especially in supported and sheltered housing schemes.
- To support these people to continue shielding, the government has promised to continue to prioritise care workers for testing and protective equipment.
What will this mean for housing associations?
Housing associations have put a wide range of measures in place to support vulnerable people to safely self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak, including meal deliveries, collecting shopping or prescriptions, organising virtual social activities to combat loneliness and isolation, and delivering support services remotely.
As far as possible, all these provisions should continue until government guidance changes.
Some members have reported redeploying staff from maintenance and asset management roles to support vulnerable residents directly. We will work with members and government to find solutions to support vulnerable residents as these staff start return to their usual roles.