A 'shielded' man says mixed government messaging has made it hard to decide whether it is safe to go outside.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that 2.2 million extremely vulnerable people shielding from the virus would be allowed to leave their homes as part of government measures to ease the lockdown.

Elliot Wollen, 30, who has had a kidney transplant, said: “It’s been a big change as I am normally very active… Not being able to exercise has had an effect on me physically due to weight gain and also mentally.

“When I first started shielding it was March and now it’s June, so it’s strange going from early spring to summer without going outside. The smells of being outside are really strong after being inside for several months.

“It was said that the shielded group were contacted about the change to going outside which is untrue, we were not contacted, we found out via the news.”

Mr Wollen, a full-time student from Harlow, said that the importance of social distancing needs to be made clearer now that those shielding can go outside.

“There is not a profile for the shielding group, we are people from all backgrounds and ages,” he said.

“People may think that we are just moaning and we should just choose to stay in or go outside, but what makes it difficult is when you feel like you can’t make an informed decision due to government mixed messaging which has been happening throughout the pandemic.”

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