FILE PHOTO: Deputy CMO for England Jenny Harries speaks during a virtual news conference at 10 Downing Street, in London, February 24, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley/Pool

Over 3.79 million people in England who are clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer have to shield from April 1 as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalisations continues to fall, a government official said on Thursday.

“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,” deputy chief medical officer for England Jenny Harries said.

Shielding was reintroduced at the start of January this year when England went into a lockdown to people identified as being at a greater risk from Covid-19 due to their individual circumstances. An additional 1.7 million people were added to the list last month.

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