Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support

Details of shielding advice to help people make informed decisions and access support services during the coronavirus pandemic.

1 page PDF

534.2 kB

1 page PDF

534.2 kB

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support
SMS shielding service

1 page PDF

534.2 kB

SMS Shielding Service

The SMS Shielding Service allows us to keep in touch with those who have been asked to shield. You might not need the service right now but signing up will let us keep in touch with you. It will also let you access support if you need it later on.

The Service sends updates on shielding. It also gives you easy access to the support available. The SMS Shielding Service will be available for as long as you’re advised to shield.

At the moment, this is until at least 31 July. If there any changes to this, you will get updates from the SMS Shielding Service alongside a letter. We will also keep our online guidance up to date.

You can still get support if you do not have a mobile phone. You can do this by calling your local authority. You can contact them directly or via the free national helpline on 0800 111 4000.

Please have your Community Health Index (CHI) number to hand. You can find your CHI number can at the top of the letter you have received.

How to sign up

To sign up, you need to text the service your 10 digit CHI number. You can find the mobile number on the letter you have received.

Please only include your CHI number in your message. Do not include any other words or information. The Service will then check your CHI number against out records to confirm you are on the shielding list.

Please try again if you receive a message telling you that your CHI number has not been recognised. You may have made a mistake entering your CHI number. Contact your local authority if you are still unable to register.

In some cases, your GP or specialist clinician may tell you that you’re in the shielding group. There may be a delay of several days before you receive your letter. This is while your records are being updated. You may need to wait to register for the SMS Shielding Service.

Contact your local authority for help arranging groceries while you are waiting.

Please contact your local authority for help arranging groceries while you are waiting.

How to request support 

The SMS Shielding Service only accepts text messages. It does not take voice calls. It is not checked by a person. It cannot respond to questions. It can only respond to your texts with pre-programmed replies.

If you need to speak to a person, please call your local authority.

First published: 10 Sep 2020 Last updated: 29 Sep 2020 -