Shielding and going back to work after lockdown lifted


Hi all,

I, like many others are worried that when the Government give their lockdown update which is due next Sunday what provision will there be for people who work full time and are currently shielding as per the Government's advice. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have a weakened immune system due to this condition.

I work in an office fulltime and my employer furloughed me in March for twelve weeks. I have been indoors these past few weeks and I know that I am in the most safest place to avoid catching Covid 19.

I am so worried about going back to work in case I catch the virus from someone in the workplace who doesn't even know they are carrying the virus. Due to our immune systems not working as well as healthy people we are really at risk hence why every year I have my flu jab. Until there is a vaccine available for Covid 19 we are going to be at risk. The question of everyone using an App sounds a good idea but some people who don't get paid sick leave by their employer may come into work knowing they have the virus and pass the virus onto work colleagues rather than self isolating for fourteen days.


  • Gemthom85
    Gemthom85 Member Posts: 26
    I imagine steps will be put in place and social distancing will be the norm until a vaccine is found. Work places will need to incorporate that when bringing back employees. I wouldn't worry about it to much. If you are on the shielding list i reckon you will be looked after and update by your gp and gov etc.
    I worry about the prospect of not having any form of a "normal" life again.
    Im not in the shielding grp and i have to practice social distancing only. I think this will be the group forgotten about when lockdown is lifted. Already in my work they have started to forget.
  • niallbrown
    niallbrown Member Posts: 5
    Hi Kazaa, it is a crazy time we are all experiencing and I share your concerns re returning to work. Have you heard about the “enhanced shielding” measures that will presumably mean any individual who falls into the vulnerable category will still be required to adhere to the strictest end of social distancing measures when the gov announces any ease on the lockdown restrictions.

    Here is an article that may help :)
  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Member Posts: 1,755

    Hi @niallbrown and welcome to the Community. You are correct, we are in a particularly confusing and difficult time. I understand that we can expect some announcements this coming weekend as to what happens next and I also suspect the advice for the different categories of those at risk will also be updated.

    Do join in across the Community, tell us a little about your experience with arthritis, call in for a chat and let us know how you are getting on.

    All best wishes


  • niallbrown
    niallbrown Member Posts: 5
    Hi Brynmor,

    Thank you for the kind welcome. I only signed up today so I definitely hope to join in on the discussions, thanks for all the work you and the rest of the team are doing at Versus Arthritis especially during such uncertain times.

  • Eir1971
    Eir1971 Member Posts: 20
    I understand your concern, I am on the shielding list and was concerned about returning to the office, I am lucky that due to covid 19 I am now working from home.
    I believe workplaces will have to implement social distancing until 2021. For us shielding, I doubt our shielding period will end in 12 weeks, I think it will be extended in which case you wont have to return to work so soon.
  • Kazza52
    Kazza52 Member Posts: 74

    Hi everyone just to let you know that the Chancellor will be giving a briefing this afternoon on the Furlough Scheme and presumably further measures to help us who are in the extremely vulnerable group and who cannot go to work. Keep safe everyone.