Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic more than 2.2 million clinically vulnerable people have been shielding, following advice at the start of this week the Government are now able to ease shielding guidelines so they can start to regain a degree of normality in their daily lives.

From Monday 6 July, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors, including those outside of their household, while maintaining social distancing. Those who are shielding and live alone or are single parents with children can form a ‘support bubble’ with another household.

From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, but support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils. People will retain their priority for supermarket delivery slots, and still be able to access help with shopping, medication, phone calls and transport to medical appointments.

I know how hard the lockdown has been for everyone across Aldridge-Brownhills, but it has been particularly hard for those who have been asked to shield, so I am pleased that as we move through the stages of the pandemic they will be able to take advantage of an easing of the lockdown restrictions.