What has changed?
An announcement was made on Wednesday 25 August by the Welsh government that children under 18 years old will be removed from the shielding list. Affected children will be sent a letter by the end of the week.
The decision made by the four UK Chief Medical Officers follows a study released by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Health on clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people which concludes that children are at low risk of serious harm from Covid-19.
Scotland is expected to make a similar announcement and will be issuing letters by the end of the week. While England will not be making an announcement, they will be issuing letters with similar news by the end of the week.
What will change?
Given that Wales is currently on alert level 0 and shielding is not taking place, this should not impact the daily lives of the children. The Chief Medical Officer for Wales does not expect to have to advise ‘shielding’ again in the future, based on current evidence. Those removed will now be advised to follow guidance given to the general population, including attending school once they reopen in September. These individuals will no longer receive the letters sent to the shielding list. Exceptions lie where people have received specific advice to shield themselves by their own clinician.
The Welsh government is aware that this may cause concern for certain children who are immunocompromised. In this case, it is advised to contact your clinician for further direction.
This decision will not impact the vaccination program which has opened for 12–15 year olds that are immunocompromised.
See the Welsh government website for the official statement.
See the UK government website for the press release.