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Advice for people at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)

People at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from coronavirus (COVID-19) are no longer advised to stay at home (shield). But there are still things you can do to help keep yourself safe.


This advice is for people who have received a letter from the NHS or their GP saying they're clinically extremely vulnerable.

If you're not sure if you're at high risk, see who is at high risk from COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination

If you're at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable), you're eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments


You should work from home if possible. Your employer should support you to do this.

If you cannot work from home, you can go to work. Talk to your employer if you're concerned about going to work. Employers should make sure suitable arrangements are in place so you can work safely.

Some employers may offer regular testing to check for people who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms. This can help stop the virus spreading.

Think about how you get to and from work. For example, you may want to avoid using public transport during busy times if possible.


More information and advice about work

You can also get advice from Acas. Call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

School and college

All pupils and students should return to school or college.

If you're concerned about your child going back to school, talk to the school about the arrangements they have put in place to help keep your child safe.

Schools and colleges are offering twice-weekly tests called rapid lateral flow tests to check for people who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms. This can help stop the virus spreading.

Find out about rapid lateral flow tests for households and bubbles of pupils, students and staff of schools, nurseries and colleges on GOV.UK

Food, medicines and shopping

To reduce your risk from COVID-19, you may want to:

  • do your shopping online
  • ask family or friends to collect shopping for you
  • avoid busy times if you go shopping

You can also get help with food and medicine deliveries from an NHS volunteer. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to get help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Meeting other people

You should follow government guidance about how many people you can meet and where you can meet them. Find out about COVID-19 restrictions in England on GOV.UK

You may choose to have close contact with friends and family when you meet them. But it's important to think about how you can help keep yourself and others safe.


  • consider meeting outside – COVID-19 spreads less easily when you're outside

  • open windows, doors and air vents to let in fresh air if meeting people inside

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Support bubbles

If you live alone or you're a single parent who lives only with your children, you can meet with 1 other household without staying 2 metres away from them. This is called a support bubble.

Find out about making a support bubble with another household on GOV.UK

Medical help and appointments

It can be hard to know what to do if you're unwell or need to use the NHS.

It's important to:

  • get medical help if you think you need it
  • keep any appointments or procedures you have booked – unless you're told not to go
  • go to hospital if you're advised to

NHS services have made changes to make sure it's safe for you to be seen. There are also ways to get medical help and prescriptions online or over the phone.

Find out more about using the NHS during COVID-19

Page last reviewed: 10 June 2021
Next review due: 24 June 2021