General Information for Wales
Key national information sources
‘Looking Out for Each Other’ 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.
A new 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.
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.
The Welsh Parliament has pulled together information, links to support and resources about coronavirus and mental health.
Shielding and Vulnerable People
People identified as belonging to one or more of the at-risk groups will be contacted by their GP practice, specialist or both, strongly advising them to stay at home for a period of at least 12 weeks. If you are contacted it is vitally important for your own protection, that you practice shielding. Guidance on how to achieve this shielding is here. If you identify as being in the vulnerable group but have not received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer in Wales, guidance is available here. A statement from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales issued on 22 June 2020 confirmed that Wales are not changing the shielding guidance and that those in this group should continue to shield until 16 August 2020.
Further detailed information from Welsh Government about guidance on shielding and meaning of ‘extremely vulnerable’ is available here. Guidance includes details about what to do, ongoing support from health and social care, access to food and medicines.
There are now new arrangements in place to ensure people who are shielding or self-isolating can continue to get their prescription medicines in partnership with the National Pharmacy Association, Wales’ third sector organisations and Royal Mail. Volunteers will be able to provide support if you have no one to help collect prescriptions. More information is available here.
Updated shielding advice for vulnerable groups: Shielding will be paused from 16 August
The latest statement from the CMO is available here.
The change in the advice means that, from 16 August, people in the shielding group can go to work or to school and go shopping but they should continue to take steps to protect themselves from coronavirus by keeping a 2m distance from others and washing their hands frequently.
The Chief Medical Officer has previously advised all those shielding can take unlimited exercise outdoors and meet with members of one other household outdoors. People who are shielding can also form part of an extended household.
For those who are receiving food boxes these will remain in place until 16th August. For advice on what to do once food boxes are no longer available click here. Other support for those shielding such as the volunteer medicine delivery scheme will be available until the end of September and priority shopping slots will continue to be available for the time being.
This advice will be kept under review and if transmission levels increase, Welsh Government may need to consider advising the shielding group to take extra precautions and measures to protect themselves in the future.
Change to advice for children shielding in Wales
Taking into consideration new evidence and experience of the disease, guidance from RCPCH has been published which indicates that not all those children and young people who are currently advised to shield need to continue to do so. It also takes account of the relative harms that can be associated with shielding unnecessarily, one of which being the impact of not returning to school.
Welsh Government are considering how to adopt this guidance in Wales over the summer. The guidance is available here.
The Welsh Government have produced a Question & Answer guide covering SEN education, access to mental health and financial support can be found here.
Changes to Education in Wales (but not for those shielding)
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams announced on Wednesday 3 June that schools will be reopening from 29 June. The key points are:
- Children will be brought into school in very small groups
- The term will be be extended for a week to 27 July
- Attendance will be voluntary and there will not be any fines should pupils not attend
- Children who are shielding and children of parents who are shielding will not return but schools will continue to support online / at a distance learning
For further information about this, please click here. The Welsh Government have also published information on how to keep the schools safe by outlining guidance around social distancing, self-isolation and testing if a person shows symptoms.
This document has also been published which outlines our latest understanding of Covid-19 in relation to children and education.
A new consultation has been launched by the Welsh Government about embedding a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing in schools. For further details and to take part please click here.
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has confirmed that all pupils will be able to return to school in September.
Carers and Parents
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 have released guidance for those who provide unpaid care for family and friends and it can be found here. The Welsh Government has also produced new 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. The full announcement and further details can be found here.
Easy read resources about Covid-19 are available via the Public Health Wales website.
Learning Disability Wales Hub has a number of resources for people with a learning disability and their supporters including easy read guides about Covid-19.
General News and updates for Wales
Weekly update - Wales
Update on easing of shielding for children, announcements on returning to school and more...
Thousands more in Wales to receive shielding letters this week
The Welsh Health Minister has said that thousands more people in Wales will receive shielding letters.
Inquiry into the Covid-19 outbreak on health and social care in Wales
Link to the inquiry launched by the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee