Over 3.7 million vulnerable people in England will no longer have to shield from the coronavirus from April 1, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

The news comes as the number of Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions continues to fall.

Letters will be sent out to this group over the next two weeks.

Vulnerable people will still be advised to work from home where possible, stay at a distance from other people and keep social contact at a minimum.

On January 5 they were advised to stay at home as much as possible to reduce their risk of being exposed to the virus.

However, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries recommended the latest change based on new scientific evidence and advice.

The 3.7 million people include those undergoing stem cell transplants, people who are having chemotherapy treatment for cancer and adults with chronic kidney disease.

Deputy chief medical officer for England Jenny Harries said: “With the prevalence of the virus in the community continuing to decrease now is the right time for people to start thinking about easing up on these more rigid guidelines.”

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