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Food parcels for vulnerable forfeited as Government changes lockdown shielding programme

The Government has updated its guidance on shielding and the clinically vulnerable, signalling there will be no resumption of Government-backed food parcels for the second lockdown from 5 November.

Under new lockdown rules, anyone over the age of 60 will be classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ – meaning almost 5.9million additional people are in the ‘at risk ‘category.

During the first national lockdown, under the shielding programme, 2.2 million people were supported with food parcels and deliveries of medication to ensure the most at risk in the community were kept at home. This time around, those at higher risk are being advised to minimise contact with others and ask for help with groceries.

Charities hit out over the lack of support after new guidance, saying the medically vulnerable have been overlooked. Sarah MacFadyen, head of policy at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said: “It’s important that the clinically extremely vulnerable group are able to access food in a safe way through priority deliveries or volunteer networks. However, if this is not possible, the government and councils should be providing a fallback option, such as food parcel deliveries.”

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