Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people at highest risk

Advice to help people in the Covid highest risk group make informed decisions and access support services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people at highest risk
SMS shielding service

Free text message service

The free text message service for people at highest risk allows us to keep in touch with those who were previously asked to shield. You might not need the service right now but signing up will let us keep in touch with you in case we need to contact you in the future. It will als let you access support if you need it later on.

The service sends useful updates for people at highest risk. It also gives you easy access to the support available. You will never be asked for your personal or banking details by text.

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.

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 any letter the NHS has sent you.

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 in the highest risk group.

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 highest risk 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 text message service.


First published: 23 Feb 2021 Last updated: 12 Nov 2021 -