Essex Wellbeing Service can help shielding residents

Councillor John Spence

Councillor John Spence - Credit: Essex County Council

Residents who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are again being advised to shield in order to protect against catching Covid-19.

The new guidance includes to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.

The National Shielding Service has been reactivated and at a local level, Essex Wellbeing Service can provide residents with a single point of access to practical, emotional and specialist support. Practical support ranges from help accessing priority supermarket shopping slots, volunteers collecting medicines and befriending support via a phone buddy.

Access Essex Wellbeing Service by calling 0300 303 9988 or visit EWS is available as normal  between December 29-31. EWS will be closed on New Year’s Day with a normal service resuming again on Saturday, January 2.

Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for Adults and Health, said: “I want to reassure anyone who is worried that you will have the support you need while you are shielding.

“Anyone who doesn’t have an existing support network, please reach out – there is help available locally and there is no need for anyone to feel that they are suffering alone at this time.”

Help is also available through the Essential Living Fund. Adults and families who are struggling to pay their bills and for essential household items during the Covid-19 pandemic, and live in Essex, can apply to The Essex Essential Living Fund through Southend Borough Council at

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This shielding guidance is officially in place for the next two weeks, but could potentially remain in place for up to four weeks.

Support is also available nationally:

More advice on who should be shielding can be found here: