People with liver disease no longer told to “shield” by the Government

Last week the Government updated its list of people who required “shielding”, an intervention for people particularly vulnerable to the harmful impacts of Covid-19. The Government now recommends that certain groups no longer need to be shielded, including people with liver disease, certain patients who have had a liver transplant, and people who have decompensated cirrhosis.

There has been criticism of how this message was communicated, with some reports that patients were informed of the changes via text message. The Government has since made it clear that nobody should have received a text message as the first point of contact and should instead have been contacted by their doctor, who would then make a decision on shielding on a case-by-case basis. The Government’s advice for those shielding in England and Wales has also been relaxed, allowing people to go outside as long as precautions are taken.

The British Liver Trust has issued a statement advising people to continue shielding until they have received direct guidance from their own clinician. If you have any concerns or questions please get in touch with our confidential helpline which continues to be open from 10.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday on 020 7089 6221. You can also email us at and we will respond on the next working day.