- June 1, 2020
- Posted by: Mick Antoniw AM
- Category: Featured, Latest News
Update on shielding in Wales
Following recent discussions with the Chief Medical Officer for Wales and the announcement made last night in England, the Minister for Health and Social Services has issued a statement containing modest changes to the advice for shielding people. Approximately 130,000 people in Wales are shielding because they have an underlying health condition which makes them at risk of serious illness if they contract COVID19. The current shielding period ends on 15 June in Wales.
While there is a need to approach any changes with caution, and those who have been shielding will need to be very strict about hygiene and social distancing, from today (1 June 2020) there are two changes to the advice for this group:
1) The first change relates to exercise. Until now those who are shielding have been advised not to leave their homes. Now, as the incidence of COVID-19 in our communities has gone down and the risk of infection is lowered, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales has advised that those who are shielding can start to take exercise outdoors. This outdoor exercise is unlimited, as long as when they go outside they strictly follow the social distancing rules and hygiene practices. Risk can never be completely eliminated but we advise those shielding to exercise at times that are less busy, so the risk of contact with others is reduced.
2) The second change relates to the ability to meet others. As a Government we have recognised the importance of being able to meet with family and friends. Everyone else in Wales has already been advised that they are able to meet with another household from 1 June as long as it is outdoors. Therefore the Chief Medical Officer for Wales is now advising that those who are shielding should be able to meet outside with people from another household on the same basis. However, they must not go into another person’s house or share food with them.
Everyone in Wales has been advised to maintain social distance of two meters and to keep good hygiene when meeting outdoors. For those who are shielding, strictly following these rules is vital.
There are no other changes being made to the advice for those who are shielding at this time. People who are shielding should continue to follow all the other advice previously given. They should not go shopping or leave their homes for any reason other than exercise. They should continue to have food and medicine delivered to them. They should continue to live as separately as possible from others in the household and maintain good hygiene.
The Chief Medical Officer is continuing to develop his advice for what shielding people should and should not do after the 15 June. All who are shielding will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales before 15 June setting out the next steps.
This advice comes from Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton, who said:
“Risk can never be completely eliminated but we advise those shielding to exercise at times that are less busy, so the risk of contact with others is reduced.
“We have advised everyone in Wales to maintain social distance of 2 meters and keep good hygiene when meeting outdoors. For those who are shielding, strictly following these rules is vital.”