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Those shielding in Wales allowed to stop from 16 August

  (Wales' chief medical officer tells those shielding in Wales can stop from the 16th of August)

People living in Wales who have been shielding at home to protect themselves from Coronavirus, have been told they can stop doing so from the 16th of August.

'Shielding' has been the term used to describe those most at risk of contracting the virus, this includes those with serious health conditions / illnesses.

Such people were finally allowed to leave their homes on the 1st of June to meet other households outdoors and as long as they obeyed social distancing measures and hand washing guidelines.

Wales' chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton announced that if coronavirus continues to decline, people in the shielding group will be able go shopping, return to work or go back to school.

He confirmed the news at the Welsh Government's daily briefing this afternoon, where he said,

"There are about 130,000 people in the shielding group in Wales – and I have been advising them to take a series of shielding measures to protect their health, until August 16.

"If we see the virus continuing to decline, the advice to shield will be paused.

"This will mean from August 16, everyone who is shielding will be able to go out to shop, return to work if their workplace is Covid-secure. If not they should work from home and return to school."

But Dr Atherton warned that the Welsh Government may have to reinstate “some form” of shielding in the future, if the virus increases in Wales.

He also said it was still very important that those who have been shielding continue to pay strict attention to physical distancing and good hand hygiene.

He went on to say that a pause to shielding meant that support for the group would also change.

" The weekly food box scheme will come to an end when shielding stops after 16 August but supermarkets will continue to offer priority delivery slots for this group," he said.

"The prescription delivery service will remain in place until 30 September for those who need it."

Everyone classed as part of the shielding group will receive a letter from Dr Atherton.

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