Shielding mum-of-one from Westbourne going 'stir crazy' welcomes measures easing

MORE than 2.2m people who have been shielding in lockdown will be able to see friends and family after the government announced that the rules will relax from next month.

By Millie Salkeld
Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 4:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 4:17 pm
Mum-of-one Emma Bone, 37, of Westbourne, was told by government to isolate for 12 weeks as she has end-stage kidney disease and is at risk if she caught Covid-19. Picture: Emma Bone
Mum-of-one Emma Bone, 37, of Westbourne, was told by government to isolate for 12 weeks as she has end-stage kidney disease and is at risk if she caught Covid-19. Picture: Emma Bone

Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced changes for people in England who are currently shielding, with this coming to a stop at the end of July.

Under the changes, those who have been staying at home completely in a bid to shield from coronavirus can meet with people outside of their household outdoors in groups of six – as long as social distancing is maintained – from July 6.

People who are shielding and live alone, or are single parents with children, will also be able to create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household of any size.

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The news is a welcome relief to Emma Bone who has been shielding in lockdown.

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The 37-year-old from Westbourne has end-stage renal disease. Two previous kidney transplants have failed, leaving her to go on dialysis four days a week, which puts her at a high risk from Covid-19.

The mum-of-one said: ‘It has been so hard staying in and not seeing my partner and friends and family.

‘The last few weeks I have been going out for walks because staying in makes you stir crazy but it will be lovely to go out and meet people without feeling like a naughty teenager.

‘I will be able to see my partner and my daughter will be able to go and see her friends.

‘I think it is the right time because coronavirus is not going away and we have to find a way to go on with life while being sensible about it.’

Emma has been receiving food packages from the government but these will stop for all those shielding at the end of July.

Statutory sick pay will also end for the shielded, unless they fall sick or need to self-isolate because they have been in contact with somebody with coronavirus.

Mr Hancock said the shielding programme was being ‘paused’ but could be reinstated if guidance changed.

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