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Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
18 March 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Wales and the other UK nations have moved from the containment phase to the delay phase of our response to COVID-19. Following this move, testing in Wales has been prioritised for individuals requiring admission to hospital.

Current guidance for the public remains that individuals displaying symptoms of a new onset continuous cough and/or high temperature are being asked to self-isolate at home for 7 days and testing of these individuals is not routinely recommended. Also, when any member of a household is symptomatic, the other members of the household should stay at home for 14 days.

Keeping essential service workers off work for 7/14 days will be detrimental to the running of those services compared to providing a negative result that would allow them to return to work. Therefore, based on careful risk assessment, a phased rollout of testing will commence starting with health care workers involved in frontline patient facing clinical care.

Testing capacity is being expanded and is currently prioritised for patients, health care workers involved in frontline patient facing clinical care and others where recommended by Health Board Medical Directors. As a result testing capacity is being increased and guidance has been issued to the NHS.