MORE than two million people trapped at home under the Government’s ‘shielding’ scheme will be able to go outside for the first time in four months on July 6.
They will be permitted to create a support bubble with one other household of any size.
This follows the ‘social bubble’ rules which were introduced earlier this month for anyone living alone and single-parent households.
Those shielding will also be permitted to meet up with a maximum of six people outside of their homes while maintaining social distancing.
It means they will have the same level of freedom as the general public for the first time since the Government told them to stay at home to prevent them catching Covid-19.
Cancer patients, people with serious lung conditions and pregnant women with heart disease are included among the shielded bracket.
On August 1 the vulnerable group will no longer need to shield at all and can return to work.
Health secretary Matt Hancock addressed those who have been shielding directly at a press conference this afternoon.
He said: “I have friends and family who have been shielding and I know what a burden it has been.
“It’s involved not leaving your house for months, not seeing loved ones, not going to the park for fresh air or to the shops.
“I would like to thank every single one of you because these measures have been vital in saving lives.”
Mr Hancock added that he will be writing to everyone under the shielding initiative within the coming days.
He will outline what they can expect and how the Government will work closely with the NHS and councils to make the adjustments as easy as possible.
The UK government says the advice on shielding can be relaxed because the chances of encountering the virus in the community continue to fall.