The advice for people shielding from Coronavirus in Wales will change from Monday, the Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething has announced.
From 1 June, people who have been shielding will be allowed to take unlimited exercise outdoors provided they follow strict social distancing and hygiene practices. Those who are shielding will also be allowed to meet outside with people from another household but should refrain from going into another person’s house or sharing food with them.
People who are shielding should continue to follow all other previous advice, including ensuring they do not go shopping or attend work outside the home and they should continue to have food and medicines delivered to them.
The advice comes from Dr Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales 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.”
It is understood that all the people who are shielding in Wales are to receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales in the coming fortnight explaining next steps from 15 June. Full guidance for shielding people in England is expected to be made on Sunday afternoon at the Downing Street daily briefing.
Announcing the changes to the advice for people shielding in Wales, Mr Gething said;
“I am pleased that so many have been shielding so diligently – not only protecting themselves but also helping to protect our NHS. We recognise how challenging these last few months, with minimal face-to-face contact with others, has been.
“I am incredibly proud of all those who have and continue to provide the vital support to enable people to shield. Our Local Authority partners, pharmacies, volunteers and major food retailers have all pulled together to make shielding possible.”
On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford set out a small number of changes to the Coronavirus lockdown measures in Wales from Monday, including allowing people who have not been shielding to meet with another household outside.
The First Minister has urged people to stay local to help keep Wales safe by generally travelling no more than five miles from home for exercise or to meet others outside.