Health Minister Robin Swann has urged everyone shielding due to Covid-19 to take part in a survey on their views and experiences.
The survey is open to all those advised to shield and to those supporting them.
The shielding guidance applies to those who with medical conditions that potentially left them extremely vulnerable to the virus.
This guidance has been updated from the start of this week. Those who are shielding can now spend time outside with people from their own household or one person from another household whilst ensuring that social distancing is observed.
This updated shielding guidance applies until 30 June. Further guidance will be provided before this date.
The survey engagement is being facilitated by the Patient and Client Council at the request of the Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride.
The Health Minister stated: “I would urge everyone affected by shielding to take part in this survey. It will help inform decisions on the way forward.
“This is the beginning of a constant conversation. I want the voices of all those affected to be heard.
“I am acutely aware of how tough it has been for those who have been shielding. It was the right action to take to stay safe. As I have stated before, it will not continue for a second longer than is required.”
The self-completed survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. The findings from this survey will outline key themes for the Department of Health to consider when adapting current restrictions for those shielding.
The purpose of this engagement is to understand the impact shielding has had on individuals, to inform the steps and processes that must be considered now and in the future, and to ensure that the voice of those impacted by shielding is heard.
You can complete the survey in a number of ways:
* On the Patient Client Council website at www.patientclientcouncil.hscni.net
* Via email at [email protected]
* Over the phone on 0800 917 0222.
* The survey can also be returned by freepost. To receive a hard copy by post please call the Patient Client Council on 0800 917 0222 or contact it via email at [email protected]