A further 1.7 million people could find themselves added to the “shielded patient list”

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People on the shielding list are required to always stay at home, except for limited circumstances, such as outdoor exercise and attending medical appointments.

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On 16 February 2021, as a result of a new COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment, the government announced a further 1.7 million people could find themselves added to the “shielded patient list.” This is in addition to the 2.3 million people who have already been advised to shield due to being classed as clinically vulnerable.

People on the shielding list are required to always stay at home, except for limited circumstances, such as outdoor exercise and attending medical appointments.

Accordingly, those on the shielding list should not be attending work. However, they are permitted to work from home, if possible.

Members are advised to check whether any employees have been added to the shielding list. A formal shielding letter or text message should be received by those affected. This should be provided to the employer as evidence that the employee has been advised to shield and must stay home.

If an employee has been advised to shield, employers should consider whether alternative work arrangements can be made. If it is not possible to make such arrangements, the employer can consider placing the employee on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (which runs until the end of April 2021) or alternatively, they can consider if the employee is eligible for Statutory Sick Pay.

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