We need a Shielding Symbol – a universal, easily recognised symbol to indicate 'shielding in effect here – obey shielding protocol'.

Shielding will be needed well beyond the time when restrictions start to be lifted for the rest of us. A standard way to indicate a shielding household, or the boundary of a shielded place or space would be a reminder to everyone not just of the special requirements for those who are shielding, but also of the basics of distancing, hygiene and so on that will continue to apply to all of us. Its essential meaning would be 'shielding is happening here – do not cross this boundary' with secondary messages of 'remember how hard shielding is' and 'we all need to keep up the basics'. In time we need to expand the horizons of shielded people, so the shielding symbol could also be used to indicate for example a vehicle in which shielding people are undertaking a shielded outing, or a place where a shielded event is taking place. It needs to be a positive symbol like the NHS rainbow – flowers, doves, light, hope – not some variation on the theme of the no entry sign. Perhaps the schools have a role in devising it.

Why the contribution is important

Shielding will be needed long term, and we need to be able to develop what shielding looks like if the shielded are to have any quality of life. A standard, unchanging symbol attaches its message to anywhere it is displayed. The message stays the same, and under its protection, the scope of shielding is able to develop safely.

by MatthewSlack on May 11, 2020 at 12:21PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 4 votes


  • Posted by hjechampion May 11, 2020 at 13:40

    absolutely agree with this. The amount of people not wearing masks who are not respecting social distancing in my supermarket and I just want to scream at them "MY MUM IS AT RISK!" A symbol would be much less noisy.
  • Posted by aileenc May 11, 2020 at 15:39

    Nhs has a shield as there symbol as it has been put on my records
  • Posted by snail May 11, 2020 at 17:17

    A great idea. We use the disability symbol so why not a shielding symbol. I am old enough to remember the days before social care. When I was a child old folk put printed signs in their windows to indicate what they needed. I was a child so I cannot remember exactly how it worked. A symbol would be useful in so many ways to alert people for the need for extreme caution.
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas

Idea topics