Shielding measures come to end for thousands of people in Wales
Today will be the final day of shielding measures for around 130,000 people in Wales,
Shielding was initially introduced between March and August 2020 when the virus was new and the Chief Medical Officer for Wales advised those most at risk to serious harm from coronavirus to stay at home to protect themselves.
It was re introduced on 22nd December when the advice to people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable has been that they should no longer attend work or school outside the home and should remain at home as much as possible.
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has reviewed the advice to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and in light of the current context of significantly lower cases across Wales, has advised that shielding measures should be paused on 31 March.
As shielding measures are paused from Thursday, many of you will be preparing to return to work 💼
We’ve provided guidance to employers to ensure workplaces can operate safely.
Here’s some advice from @CMOWales on what this means for you 👇#AskDrFrank pic.twitter.com/pfuylzFjSJ
— Welsh Government #KeepWalesSafe (@WelshGovernment) March 30, 2021
This means from 1 April those who have been shielding can:
- go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is Covid-secure (has taken reasonable measures to minimise risk to employees);
- children who have been following shielding measures can return to school when appropriate for their year group
The Welsh Government has said: “We know there are associated harms when asking people to follow shielding measures and we must therefore only have this advice in place for as long as is absolutely necessary.”
“Although the advice to follow shielding measures will be paused after 31 March, we do need to be prepared to reinstate the advice in the future if needed.”
“We will continue to keep a record of everyone on the shielding patients list should we need to ask anyone to undertake shielding measures again in future.”
The government has also said that everyone on the Shielding Patient List has been offered the Covid-19 vaccine.
“If you think you have been missed, you can find details of how to contact your local Health Board.”
“If you have recently been added to the Shielding Patient List you will be prioritised for vaccination.”
“Please allow approximately a week from the date of your letter to be invited while systems are updated.”