How does Covid 'freedom day' on July 19 affect shielders?

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People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised to take extra precautions as Covid restrictions come to an end from July 19.

The advice for clinically vulnerable people to shield has ended and the government guidance on meeting family and friends now has a greater emphasis on personal responsibility.

However they are being urged to take extra steps to minimise the risk of being exposed to the virus.

'Freedom day': Majority of Covid restrictions in England to ease on July 19

How are shielders feeling about 'freedom day'?

Mark Galloway from Coventry has described the so called 'freedom day' as more of a "relaxation day" but he's still not taking any risks.

He has Type 1 Diabetes and arthritis, which means that he was advised to shield. 

Mark says he'll carry on how he has been in the last couple of months to make sure he's not putting himself at risk.

He says it's now time to take responsibility for ourselves and says he still will be taking extra precautions as he is clinically vulnerable.

Despite being double jabbed he says he is a "little worried" as the Covid vaccine isn't 100% effective and coronavirus cases are currently increasing across the UK.

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He says a potential booster jab in September or October will help to increase his confidence.

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Mark's wife Caroline Galloway agrees and says that it's time restrictions do start easing but slowly as scientists advise.

She says they will continue to go out and dine safely to support businesses but only if they can sit outside.

It's been a tough time for the pair but they say the community spirit of their road coming together for outdoor events is one of the positives to come out of this experience.

Tips on how clinically vulnerable people can protect themselves from Covid:

  • Meet friends and family outside if possible.

  • Make sure the space is well ventilated if you meet inside; open windows and doors or take other action to let in plenty of fresh air.

  • Consider whether you and those you are meeting have been vaccinated – you might want to wait until 21 days after your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others.

  • Work from home where possible.

  • Wash hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

  • Try to reduce the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing with people outside of your group.

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