Government has confirmed that those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a support bubble with another household from July 6.
Speaking at the daily press conference, Matt Hancock, health secretary, went on to confirm that in a move to give security, the shielding support package will remain in place until the end of July when people will no longer be advised to shield.
The announcement came as the latest scientific evidence shows the chances of encountering the virus in the community continue to decline.
From August 1, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely 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.
Commenting, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock, said: “I want to thank all those who have been shielding for so many weeks for their commitment to the shielding programme. I know this has been incredibly tough.
“Shielding has involved not leaving your house for months, not seeing people you care about, not being able to wander to the park for some fresh air, or even pop to the shops for something you need. This sacrifice has been for a purpose, and I want to thank every single one of you.”
Adding: “We knew it was a difficult ask, but these measures have been vital in saving lives. Now, with infection rates continuing to fall in our communities, our medical experts have advised that we can now ease some of these measures, while keeping people safe.
“The government has worked closely with clinicians, GPs, charities, the voluntary sector and patient groups to consult on these changes and will continue to do so to provide support and advice to those they represent.”
Following this review of the shielding measures, the government will be writing to all individuals on the Shielded Patient List with updated information on shielding advice and the ongoing support that will be available to them.