Posted: Fri 23rd Jul 2021

Welsh government to remove requirement for people who have been fully vaccinated to self-isolate next month

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jul 23rd, 2021

The health minister has said that self-isolation for fully vaccinated people in close contact of a positive Covid-19 case is likely to end in August.

As part of the next 21 day review cycle, “we aim to remove the requirement for people who have been fully vaccinated to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.”

“We will also consider other potential exemptions, such as for those under the age of 18.” Health minister Eluned Morgan said in a written statement on Thursday.

“The NHS Covid 19 App will align with these changes when they are made.”

“Until any changes are introduced it is essential that anyone asked to self-isolate does so.” She said.

“I am aware that in the next few weeks there is the potential for critical services, such as the NHS and social care, to face additional pressures as a result of the number of contacts self-isolating increasing.” The health minister said.

“We are working closely with relevant clinical and NHS bodies and social care partners to agree effective mitigation for direct patient and client facing and caring roles to see what more could be done in extremis where self-isolation of fully vaccinated close contacts could have a direct impact on patient safety.” She said.

The latest figures show more than 11,000 people in Wales were told to self-isolate between 8 and 15 July.

In total, 618,903 people using the NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts in the week between 8 and 15 July – 11,417 people received an alert in Wales.

On Thursday the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the huge number of healthy workers self-isolating after being “pinged” by NHS test and trace, was “putting increasing pressure on retailers’ ability to maintain opening hours and keep shelves stocked”.

Deeside based Iceland has closed a number of stores because of staff shortages, up to 1000 of its workforce are self-isolating, double the normal amount that would normally be off and it’s rising 50% week on week.

But managing director Richard Walker said there was “there’s absolutely no need for people to panic buy.”

Mr Walker said there was certainly no problem with the “supply of stock and there is absolutely no need to panic buy, we don’t want to go back to the dark days of April 2020.”

Thousands of people in the food supply chain in England will be able to carry on working under new UK government plans to cut the numbers being told to isolate by the Covid app.

Staff at around 400 designated sites in England, including supermarket depot’s, will be able to take tests daily instead. It will not apply to supermarket store staff.

Some councils are reported to have pulled services such as garden waste collections, Flintshire council has said there are some absences within its workforce due to self isolation but they aren’t impacting services.

Flintshire’s Chief Executive, Colin Everett, said: “As a major local employer and service provider we monitor the workforce availability situation daily.

“We have seen some absences due to self-isolation but at this stage no major services are directly affected. If and when this situation changes we will inform the public.”

Eluned Morgan, said, “want to provide clarity on the position in Wales and actions required for NHS Covid 19 App users who are notified that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid 19.”

“Case rates in Wales have been rising and consequently the number of contacts being asked to self-isolate, whether by a Test Trace Protect (TTP) contact tracer or via the NHS Covid 19 App, has also been increasing. ”

“However it is important to note that, at the present time, case rates and contacts are not at the levels seen elsewhere in the UK.”

“The NHS Covid 19 App continues to be an important supplementary tool to our TTP service and App users should continue to follow the self-isolation advice if they receive a notification.”

“It is a legal requirement to self-isolate if instructed by the TTP service. ”

“The NHS Covid 19 App is not covered by this legal duty because the App is anonymous and the privacy of users is protected.”

“NHS Covid 19 App users should follow the instruction to self-isolate to help minimise the spread of the virus.”

“The increase in notifications to contacts advising them to self-isolate illustrates that the NHS Covid 19 App is working effectively and doing what it is designed to do.”

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