VULNERABLE people could be asked to shield again as ministers seek to protect them from the second wave of the virus.
But officials are concerned about “killer” loneliness.
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Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries is today set to outline further measures for those likely to be at the highest risk of Covid-19.
Last night they were told to take more care.
The Government’s top doctor, Prof Chris Whitty, said: “People previously shielding are at greater risk.
"We always advise they take greater precautions.
“But we also recognise there were significant difficulties in mental distress and loneliness for people who were put into shielding as they certainly perceived it.
“And I think we’re trying to deal with that in the way we approach shielding.”
More than 2.2million “clinically vulnerable” people were told to avoid contact with others during the first lockdown due to fears over underlying health conditions.
And people who were deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” were asked to self-isolate for their own protection.
These included those who were suffering from cancers and respiratory illnesses.
It was also aimed at those on immunosuppression therapies or suffering from rare diseases.
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