Latest: New coronavirus restrictions in England

13 October 2020

New coronavirus restrictions have been announced in England - but high risk people are not being advised to shield. 

Local areas in England have been placed under a new three tier system of medium, high or very high alert restrictions. The government is not recommending that high risk people shield, even if you live in an area with local restrictions, unless you receive a letter separately informing you to do so. The government have stated they will only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the very worst affected local areas and for a limited period of time.

If you live in England, you should follow the general advice regarding Local COVID alert levels for your area. You can find out the alert level for your area by downloading the NHS Covid-19 app.

Although the national shielding programme has paused, your IBD team may still advise you to shield in individual circumstances, such as if you have upcoming surgery or have just started taking steroids. Follow the advice of your IBD team if they tell you to shield. If you live in a very high local COVID alert area, you may also receive a letter from the government recommending you shield for a limited time.

In the rare circumstance that you are advised to shield, you should try to only leave your home in order to attend medical appointments, and avoid contact with people who you don't live with. Check the letter you received, or with your IBD team, to see what you are able to do. 

Even if you do not currently need to shield, you should still follow restrictions for your local area and practice social distancing and good hand washing hygiene. Find your local council and check local restrictions at:

For more on what the new rules mean for people on the shielding list, read our detailed guidance.