Covid-19 Changes

Information for parishes and community groups – 28 July 2020

Dear members, volunteer coordinators and parish councillors

Shielding paused from 1 August

As you will likely be aware, the Government is pausing the shielding programme from this Saturday, 1 August. This means:

  • the government will no longer be advising people to shield
  • the support from the National Shielding Service of free food parcels, medicine deliveries and care will stop
  • The Cambridgeshire council hub network has contacted people who have been shielding to check whether they need any support when shielding is paused
  • it is hoped that any volunteer efforts to support vulnerable people – such as delivering food, prescriptions and essential items – will continue where needed
  • people who have been shielding will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (as long as they had registered before 17 July, or see item below on how we can still access priority online slots for people)

People may still be at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus, so are still being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible and to take precautions when going out: hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and keeping socially distanced.

Priority food slots and other support with shopping

The Council has access to a system set up by DEFRA (The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) to allow us to add residents to receive priority online food delivery slots from Tesco and Iceland.


This new scheme could help people who need to isolate due to the Test and Trace system; it could help people manage in the case of a local lockdown; or it could support vulnerable residents who need to be protected from Coronavirus and have ongoing issues with securing a supermarket delivery slot.


The priority access could be granted for between two and 40 weeks (until 31 March 2021). The systems for the two supermarkets work slightly differently, but are both applied for by completing the online form on our website. A member of the Sustainable Communities team will get back to the resident with details once their application has been assessed and processed. The resident will need an online account for either supermarket to place their order.


If you have any queries about this scheme or need any support to help residents sign up, please contact your patch lead or the team.


It might be helpful to be aware of Age UK’s shopping service for people aged 65+ or vulnerable people who need help to get their weekly groceries.

Visiting shops and pharmacies again

The Countywide Hub has produced a video to help people who have been shielding – and may not have left their home for months – to know what to expect if they choose to visit a supermarket or pharmacy again.


The video details all the signage you will see as a customer and why this is now in place. It takes the viewer on a mini tour around both sites and explains 2m distancing and plastic shielding screens at till points to protect the customer and employee.


The video is available to view here.

South Cambridgeshire District Council emergency food hub closes

Our emergency food hub will stop providing a service on Friday 31 July. During lockdown there was a small but steady demand for one-off supplies, but this has now almost completely tailed off. There is higher demand for ongoing support with food due to the financial impact on people due to Covid-19 and we are working with partners and foodbanks to make sure the right help is in place. As ever, please don’t hesitate to contact your patch leads if you need help to locate support.


Best wishes


Bridget Smith

Leader South Cambridgeshire District Council