"This announcement provides some much-needed clarity on a planned return to normal life for those whose lives have been completely changed by the impact of coronavirus."
Responding to the Government’s publication of its future roadmap for those who are shielding, as announced by the Health and Social Care Secretary at the Downing Street briefing, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Councils continue to play a key role throughout the pandemic in supporting those who have been shielding, working alongside the NHS, local communities and volunteers to protect those most vulnerable to the virus and who are isolated.
“This announcement provides some much-needed clarity on a planned return to normal life for those whose lives have been completely changed by the impact of coronavirus. Clear communication about these changes is vital to give people who are shielding the time to adjust to the new guidance. Councils also need to have all the necessary information to help with any questions or concerns from those affected.
“A plan is needed for those who cannot afford access to priority supermarket delivery slots who will no longer be receiving emergency food parcels and to support those whose wellbeing has suffered as a result of prolonged isolation. Extra local welfare assistance funding also recognises the crucial part that councils play in helping vulnerable households and councils want to continue working with the Government to develop the best way to support people, both inside and outside the shielded group, if there are local outbreaks or to protect against a potential rise in infection.
“As all members of our communities build their resilience to move out of lockdown, they need to know that support will be there if it is needed. Councils need to have the additional funding and effective data to deliver this vital support so they can specifically target where it is needed most.”