Clinically extremely vulnerable people

This page was last updated on 16 June 2021 at 13.15

England is now in step 3 of the government’s roadmap. This means:

  • You should continue to work from home if you can.
  • You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops and places of worship, and on public transport, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse.
  • You can meet indoors with up to six people from any number of households, or any number of people from no more than two households.

If you are in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable‘ category you are at higher risk from Covid and you must take particular care to make sure you follow social distancing and hygiene rules. The government advice to ‘shield’ (remain in your home and not go to work) ended on 31 March. From 1 April, your employer should continue to allow you to work from home if your job can be done from home. If your job cannot be done from home your employer should consider if you could be redeployed to other roles that can be done from home.

If you cannot work from home, you could be asked to come back in to your workplace. However, your employer should complete an individual risk assessment with you and ensure adequate adjustments are made to help you maintain social distancing. If you are worried about returning to work and you think your employer isn’t doing enough to protect you please contact the branch office.

If you work in the private sector, your employer could consider making use of the government’s furlough scheme.

Find out more about the furlough scheme

If you are unable to attend work on medical grounds, and your employer cannot make sufficient adjustments you may also be entitled to the following social security benefits:

Who is ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’?

According to government guidance you may be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable if you:

  1. Have any of the health conditions listed below; or
  2. Have been added to the shielded patient list by your GP or hospital clinician because they believe your individual circumstances means you are at significant risk

The health conditions that are automatically classed as being ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ are:

  • having had an organ transplant
  • having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
  • having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
  • having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
  • having blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • having had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • have been told by a doctor you have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
  • having a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
  • taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
  • having a serious heart condition and are pregnant
  • having a problem with your spleen or your spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
  • an adult with Down’s syndrome
  • an adult who is having dialysis or has severe (stage 5) long-term kidney disease

What if someone I live with is clinically extremely vulnerable?

Lots of our members may not fall into the extremely clinically vulnerable group and are not required to shield, but may live with someone who does. We expect employers to be mindful of the risks of going to work and the impact on other people you live with.

View our advice for people who live with someone who is vulnerable