Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services
From 22nd December the advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been that they should no longer attend work or school outside the home and should remain at home as much as possible. This change was made in the context of cases of coronavirus rising exponentially, alongside the identification of a new variant of coronavirus circulating in Wales. This advice is in place until 31st March.
Case prevalence is now significantly below what it was in December and on a trend downwards across Wales. Conscious of the associated harms when asking people to follow shielding measures, we must only keep this advice in place for as long as is absolutely necessary. In light of the change of context, the Chief Medical Officer has recommended that the advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable to follow shielding measures should be paused after the 31st March.
It is important to note that just as we are planning relaxations and the first dose of the vaccine has been offered to all of this group, experience has shown that we do need to be prepared to potentially step advice up again if required. The shielding patient list will remain in place and available should we need to ask anyone to follow shielding measures again in future. It is my sincere hope that this will not be necessary.