Scientific evidence suggests most children with underlying health conditions can exit shielding

A new report indicates that many children may no longer have to shield.

By Neil McGrory, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 2:20 pm
No child will be removed from the shielding list until evalued by their clinical team and this will take place throughout July, ensuring children have the appropriate advice before the school year begins in August. Photo: John Devlin
No child will be removed from the shielding list until evalued by their clinical team and this will take place throughout July, ensuring children have the appropriate advice before the school year begins in August. Photo: John Devlin

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health says most children with conditions including asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and kidney disease can now exit shielding and will be able to return to school. This is supported by clinical advisory groups and the administrations of all four UK countries.

No child will be removed from the shielding list until evaluation by their clinical team and this will take place throughout July, ensuring children have the appropriate advice before the school year begins in August.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Our experience and knowledge of the impact of Covid-19 infection on children and young people with underlying health conditions has been developing over time.

Sign up to our daily Berwickshire News Today newsletter

“New evidence and research findings allow us to update the advice about which children are at the highest risk of severe infection because they are clinically extremely vulnerable.

“Getting the balance right between the importance of protecting those most vulnerable to severe impact from this virus and the social and psychological impact of shielding is complex but it is important we do all we can to get it right.

“This announcement is six weeks before schools go back and means many children and young people won’t require to shield over the summer holidays.

“We know that many children and young people and their parents/carers will understandably feel cautious and uncertain at this time and the updated advice provides help and guidance for them and their clinicians.

“We are doing everything we can to get the advice right so that people in Scotland can safely, and gradually, start to make choices that reflect their individual and local circumstances.”