Key National Information Sources
Everyone in Wales must follow the current alert level three guidance:
- You are encouraged to work from home if possible. Click here for more information.
- You can meet outdoors including in private gardens as long as a maximum of six people from up to six households (not including carers or children under 11 from either household) meet at one time. For the rules on support bubbles click here.
- All retail is open.
- You can exercise indoors and outdoors in accordance with the guidance here.
- Outdoor hospitality is open.
- Schools and colleges are open.
- The Nest scheme offers free impartial advice to people struggling to cope with their energy bills, and can provide a package of home energy efficiency improvements to those who are eligible.
- You can also apply for Universal Credit or the Welsh Government’s Discretionary Assistance Fund payment.
Physical and mental wellbeing:
- Information about looking after your wellbeing can be found at the Public Health Wales website.
- The Welsh Parliament has pulled together information, links to support and resources about coronavirus and mental health.
- Looking Out for Each Other scheme provides practical guidance about how everyday tasks can be done safely, without physical contact to minimise the risk of contracting Covid-19. It also shares information about how to stay mentally and physically active.
- If you are looking for support from the charity sector in Wales, there is further information about each of the local authorities and where to seek advice here.
- An online hub includes a ‘helping hand’ card, which can be downloaded and put through the letterboxes of neighbours to offer help to those who are isolating.
- This guidance provides advice on issues relating to moral, ethical, cultural and faith considerations and provide a source of advice to health services to inform equitable and just management of issues arising from the health care emergency response to Covid-19.
Shielding and Vulnerable People
Updated guidance for those who are extremely clinically vulnerable can be found here. Doctors have been reviewing all children and young people to identify who is still thought to be at highest risk. If you have not yet heard from your child’s hospital doctor or GP, contact your care provider to check whether your child is still considered clinically extremely vulnerable.
From 1 April, clinically extremely vulnerable people should follow the same advice as the rest of the Welsh population and can:
- Go to work if you cannot work from home, as long as measures have been taken to minimise Covid-19 at the workplace.
- Children can return to school.
All children aged 12-15 in the UK will shortly be offered the Covid-19 vaccine.
The clinically extremely vulnerable will get priority access to vaccination against Covid-19 before the general population and in line with the priority order.
People over 16 who live with individuals with severely weakened immune systems should now also be offered the Covid-19 as a priority. The Welsh Government, like the other UK nations, has accepted this advice and there is a form online for individuals who are household contacts of someone who is immunosuppressed to complete. The form can be found under ‘Further Information’ in this link.
The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring everyone on the Shielding Patient List (16 years and over) receives their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the middle of February. You will be invited to a dedicated clinic, so to help the NHS, please wait to be invited. There will be no need to apply for or ask GPs or pharmacists for the vaccination, as invitation will be automatic. Please do not call your surgery or hospital.
Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow the advice not to attend work or school outside the home until further notice, as we continue to assess the impact of vaccination among all groups.
The people you live with should continue to follow the public health rules and guidance as long as they are in place, including if you have received the vaccine and also if they have received the vaccine.
Young people and children
Young people aged 16 years and over with specific clinical vulnerabilities will be offered vaccination.
The only other group that can be considered are children aged 12 years and over with severe neurodisabilities and recurrent respiratory tract infections who require residential care. These vaccinations would be considered unlicensed use, paediatricians and GPs should discuss the benefits, risks and safety data with children, young people and their parents/guardians.
You can find more information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme for children and young people here.
Welsh Government has published guidance and criteria for eligibility to receive the vaccine as an unpaid carer. Click here.
Working Safely During Coronavirus
You must work from home if you can. People who are not able to work from home, but are able to work safely in their workplaces, can do so, provided their workplace remains open.
If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Clinically vulnerable people that are advised not to work may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Members of your household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home.
For specific advice on any issues and also on your employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline, 0300 123 1100.
If you feel that you have been treated unfairly by your employer, or somebody who gives you a service, then the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) offers a free advice service which you can access by calling 0808 800 0082, by text phone on 0808 800 0084 or by visiting their website here.
Welsh Government has produced guidance for employers and employees about how to remain safe in the workplace. Detailed guidance is available here.
A Covid-19 workforce risk assessment tool is available to check if you are at higher risk of more serious symptoms if you come into contact with Covid-19. The tool helps you to consider your personal risk factors for COVID-19 and suggests how to stay safe.
Carers and Parents
The Welsh Government launched the £500 payment scheme last month to support people who have been asked to self-isolate by the Test, Trace Protect service. They have now expanded the Self-Isolation Support Scheme to include parents and carers of children who have been asked to self-isolate.
Mencap have pulled together resources and advice for carers who may be affected by Covid-19. Find questions and answers here about how Covid-19 might affect direct payments in Wales, including employees and workers self-isolating, and furloughing staff here.
The Welsh government has released guidance for those who provide unpaid care for family and friends and it can be found here. The Welsh Government has also produced guidance for unpaid carers on access and use of PPE.
A parenting and family advice charity has been awarded funding to extend its helpline service to Welsh speakers. The charity Family Lives currently provides emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life across England and Wales.
A support bubble is a support network that links two households. You can form a support bubble with a household of any size if:
- You live by yourself
- You’re a single adult living with one or more children under the age of 18
- You are an adult with caring responsibilities for all of the other adults in the home
You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble. For more information, visit the guidance for visiting people in private homes here.
You can also visit the full guidance for unpaid carers here.
Information for Charities
WCVA has collated a range of COVID 19 specific resources and information for voluntary organisations in Wales here.