'This is not a release from shielding': Cambridgeshire doctor says vulnerable people must continue to take care

A Cambridgeshire doctor says people shielding must continue to take care even though they can now venture out for the first time in ten weeks.

James Morrow is a GP who works at Granta Medical Practices in Sawston, Cambridgeshire. He says it's a calculated small step for those shielding to benefit from being outdoors and warns that the virus is still at the same level in the east that it was several weeks ago

"People may want to run around and celebrate that new found freedom, but's it's important to remember that this is not a release from the shielding this is the first step towards normalisation, and it is a calculated small step to enable people to benefit form outdoor fresh air, gentle exercise and perhaps for some people the first face-to-face contact they've had for ten weeks"

James Morrow, GP
Those who are shielding should only go out with either someone from their own household, or one person from another household at a two metre distance Credit: PA

"East Anglia has been relatively well protected at the start of this epidemic, but what we are seeing here is that the numbers are remaining really quite static week after week after week. The risk remains."

James Morrow, GP

Dr Morrow stresses that this is a very gentle easing of restrictions, and that people still need to think about their own risk, their exposure, and about their risk to other people as well.

'This is about ensuring that if you do meet someone from another household and you're a shielding, just meet one person from another household, understand where they've been and whether they pose a significant risk to you, and as always maintain two metre social distancing at all times."

James Morrow, GP

It's not just people who are shielding that need to remain cautious, Dr Morrow's advise also applies to those who are living with someone who is shielding:

It comes as the government announces the wider easing of coronavirus restrictions, meaning that people who are clinically vulnerable and have been shielding for the past 10 weeks can now leave their homes.

Under the new guidelines, people shielding can venture outdoors once a day, for as long as they like, either with members of their household or with one person from another household – as long as social distancing and strict hygiene is maintained.

They're still, however, advised to avoid crowds or crowded areas, including private gatherings, and to strictly avoid contact with others.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know