The advice to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, previously ‘shielding’ has changed from yesterday (22-12-20) to advise those within this group that they should no longer attend work or school outside the home.
This is particularly the case for those whose work requires them to be in regular or sustained contact with other people, or where individuals share a poorly ventilated workspace for long periods.
Letters from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales (CMO) will be issued confirming this advice but will take some time to reach individuals due to the festive period. These letters can be used as evidence for the purposes of claiming statutory sick pay.
Welsh Government say, “This decision has been taken based on number of factors but has been influenced most recently by the significant recent growth in rates of infection, possibly due to the new variant of the coronavirus. We have also taken account of the pressures we see on our health service with increasing hospitalisations. This advice will be reviewed on a three weekly basis aligned to the Welsh Government reviews of alert levels across Wales.”
Individuals in this group are already subject to the regulations in place at level 4 https://gov.wales/alert-level-4 and therefore must stay at home as much as possible. However, individuals can still go outside to exercise and also to attend medical appointments. We must remain conscious of the harms associated with isolation for long periods and therefore those in this group can remain part of a support bubble, as long as they take care.
In yesterday’s statement, the Minister for Health & Social Services said, “We have been clear that the safest option for people within this group is not to be part of a Christmas Bubble. However if they choose to do so they should follow the advice provided on our website https://gov.wales/christmas-advice-people-who-were-shielding which includes keeping contacts to an absolute minimum, meeting for short periods in well ventilated areas, maintaining strict hand and surface hygiene and staying 2 meters away from others.”
A list of useful resources in Ceredigion, including meal deliveries, community support groups and prescription information can be found here: List of Resources in Ceredigion - Ceredigion County Council
A list of grants and assistance for individuals in need can be found here: Grants and Assistance for Individuals in Need (ceredigion.gov.uk)