THE UK government has advised clinically extremely vulnerable people across London, the south east and east of England to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work as they are moved into the new Tier 4 restrictions.

The group includes those immune systems may be suppressed, or other specific conditions, for instance following an organ transplant, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, an official statement said.

Employees who cannot work from home may be eligible for statutory sick pay, employment and support allowance, universal credit or the coronavirus job retention scheme during this period.

However, people in the same household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable can still attend work.

The updated guidance says if a GP or clinician has advised that a child should remain on the shielded patient list, they are advised not to attend school during term times.

It also advises to avoid all non-essential travel and not to go to any shops or to pharmacies.

According to the statement, the group list is updated regularly as patients’ conditions or the scientific evidence changes, and people included on the list will be intimated.

The government will ensure access to food and medicines and signposting to local support or befriending services, to enable people to stay at home as much as possible over this period. NHS volunteer responders can also help with a regular, friendly phone call, and transport to and from medical appointments.

People aged 70 or over are also advised to stay at home and to carefully follow the rules and minimise contact with others.

The government asked everyone in Tier 4 areas who received the shielding letter in November and whose condition hasn’t changed to follow the advice immediately until they receive a new letter.