The ways in which extremely vulnerable people in Norwich are supported will change next week, as shielding is expected to pause from August 1.
People at risk at experiencing severe complications if they catch Covid-19 have been advised to stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact since March. However, providing the rate of transmission remains low, the shielding guidance will be paused next week to allow people to leave their homes and see others.
Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of Norwich City Council, said:
“It is good news that the rate of infection has lowered sufficiently to allow extremely vulnerable people greater freedom in their lives.
“This being said, coronavirus is still with us and it’s vital that everybody, especially those classed as extremely vulnerable, continue to take precautions to protect themselves against infection.
“We encourage everybody to keep following the guidance on social distancing and making Norwich a safer place for themselves and others.”
This change means that the government’s National Shielding Service will no longer be in place to deliver food boxes to extremely vulnerable people and pharmacies will be discontinuing some delivery services. The Norwich Community Response Hub, which had been filling gaps in this central food delivery service for many residents, will also be stood down as shielding pauses barring any significant future rise in infections.
If residents are still struggling, there is still support in place which can be accessed through the existing Norfolk County Council phone line on 0344 800 8020. Volunteers who came forward to support others during lockdown are still giving time to help, coordinated by Voluntary Norfolk. This can include help to collect shopping, medications and befriending where people do not have friends or family to support them. People can also find information on local community groups on LUMi.org.uk for mutual aid and charity support near them.
If people are struggling financially, due to the effects of Covid-19 or otherwise, they can contact the Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS) to apply for support. The scheme aims to support people through difficulty by awarding funding, which can be a cash donation or used to make specific purchases.
For more information visit the Norfolk Assistance Scheme.