Posted: Sun 16th Aug 2020

The rules around shielding for thousands of people in Flintshire have been relaxed today

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Aug 16th, 2020

Guidance has been relaxed today for thousands of people in Wales with underlying health conditions who have been shielding from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. 

From the middle of March, 6,300 people in Flintshire – who have received organ transplants, are living with severe respiratory conditions, specific cancers or are taking immuno-suppressant drug treatments – have been advised to take extra precautions and stay indoors.

The change comes as “infection rates in Wales are now very low so the chances of catching COVID-19 are much lower,” Welsh Government has said. 

Those who have previously followed the guidance will now be able to go to work, as long as the business they work for is COVID secure.

People who have been shielding can now go out for any reason, including going to shops to buy food but you should stay 2 metres or 3 steps from other people.

Children who have been shielding will be able to return to school when schools re-start.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government is committed to supporting those who have been shielding back to their “everyday lives,” he said:

To thank you to everyone across Wales, who has been shielding, we know this hasn’t been easy but cases in Wales continue to be very low, so we say to people who’ve been shielding, there’s no longer any need to do so.

Of course, we’re committed to supporting you as you go back to your everyday lives.

Thank you to everyone in Wales for all your sacrifices, that is what has given us the headroom to keep lifting restrictions.

Those who have been shielding are only now just taking their first steps to getting out and about more regularly.

That’s why it’s important for us all now more than ever to be considerate to those around us.

Keep two meters or three steps apart, wash our hands regularly, and in that way, reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Please remember by reducing the risk of catching and spreading coronavirus together, we can help to keep Wales safe.

As part of the support arrangements, food boxes will end, but priority supermarket slots will continue to be available and medicine deliveries will be available via the National Volunteer Prescription Delivery Scheme until the end of September.

In a letter to 130,000 people in Wales, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said:

“When I first advised you to shield, the coronavirus infection rate was much higher than it is now. Shielding at home was the best way for you to stay safe.

Infection rates in Wales are now very low and so your chances of catching coronavirus are much lower.

In all of my advice to you I have tried to find the right balance between the risks of coronavirus, and the harm that asking you to continue to shield can cause.

Staying at home for long periods of time can harm your mental and physical health.”

Dr Atherton said. “In the event of high numbers of coronavirus cases in a local area in Wales I will consider whether I need to ask people in that local area to shield.

If this happens or advice changes for your area we will communicate with the public via local radio and television, and I will also write to you if I need to advise you to shield again.

If we need to advise people to shield, we are aiming to do so on an individual basis where your doctor can look at your own risk and decide what is the best advice for you.

The first group we will do this for is children. We are learning more about coronavirus all the time and now know that children are unlikely to get very sick from the coronavirus, so in most cases do not need to shield.”

He added: “We know that you may be worried about stopping shielding but there are a number of things you can do to help keep you safe.”

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds. 

  • Stay 2 metres or 3 steps away from people you do not live with or are not part of the one other household your family may be joined with (also known as an extended household).
  • Eat healthily and take regular exercise.
  • Remember to take any medication your doctor has told you to take.
  • Get your free NHS jabs to protect you from other diseases such as measles (you can speak to your doctor about this).
  • Get your free NHS annual flu jab when it becomes available in the autumn (you can speak to your doctor about this).


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