News | Rhys Williams | Published: 13:47, Thursday July 16th, 2020.
Last updated: 13:47, Thursday July 16th, 2020
People will no longer have to shield after August 16, Wales’ chief medical officer has announced.
Providing coronavirus infection rates continue to decline, this means people deemed most at risk from the virus will be able to return to work, school and shops, providing they stick to the two-metre social distancing rules.
In Wales, around 130,000 people have been advised to shield due to the ongoing pandemic.
Speaking at a Welsh Government press briefing on Thursday (July 16), Dr Frank Atherton said: “Shielding will have been difficult for many people – tens of thousands of people have made some very significant personal sacrifices to follow the guidance and to protect their health during the height of the pandemic.
“I want to thank them for that because it has not been easy. I also want to thank everyone who has supported those who have been shielding.”
Dr Atherton added: “Shielding is a huge request for someone to undertake, so it’s important that we don’t ask people to shield for longer than is necessary.
“As the level of the virus in our communities is now low, shielding should pause from 16 August.
“This means those who have been shielding can gradually resume day-to-day life, but taking extra care around physical distancing and hand washing.
“We will keep this under review and if we see transmission levels increase, we may need to consider advising the shielding group to take extra precautions and measures to protect themselves in the future.”
It has also been confirmed that the weekly food box deliveries, which have been organised by local councils, will end after August 16.
However, priority slots for online supermarket shopping will remain in place, with the prescription delivery service continuing until the end of September.
On Wednesday (July 15), Public Health Wales announced two deaths related to Covid-19, as well as 18 new cases of the virus.
It brings the total number of deaths in Wales to 1,545, with 16,854 confirmed cases.
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