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Important new advice for those who were previously shielding

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PEOPLE who were previously shielding – now known as clinically extremely vulnerable – are advised to no longer attend work or school outside their homes.

The change in advice has come from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales (CMO).

This is particularly the case for those whose work requires them to be in regular or sustained contact with other people, or where individuals share a poorly ventilated workspace for long periods.

Letters from the CMO will be issued confirming this advice but will take some time to reach individuals due to the festive period.

These letters can be used as evidence for the purposes of claiming statutory sick pay.

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, said the decision has been influenced by the significant recent growth in rates of Covid-19 infection, possibly due to the new variant of the virus.

Mr Gething said: “We have also taken account of the pressures we see on our health service with increasing hospitalisations. This advice will be reviewed on a three weekly basis aligned to the Welsh Government reviews of alert levels across Wales.”

Mr Gething reminded the public that everyone should be staying at home as much as possible under the current Alert Level 4 restrictions.

However he added the clinically extremely vulnerable can still go outside to exercise and attend medical appointments.
“We must remain conscious of the harms associated with isolation for long periods and therefore those in this group can remain part of a support bubble, as long as they take care,” he said.

Mr Gething added: “We have been clear that the safest option for people within this group is not to be part of a Christmas Bubble.
“However if they choose to do so they should follow the advice provided on our website https://gov.wales/christmas-advice-people-who-were-shielding which includes keeping contacts to an absolute minimum, meeting for short periods in well ventilated areas, maintaining strict hand and surface hygiene and staying 2 metres away from others.”

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Guidance will be updated as soon as possible on the following link https://gov.wales/guidance-protecting-people-defined-medical-grounds-extremely-vulnerable-coronavirus-covid-19

In Pembrokeshire, the Community Hub remains ready help.

A partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Hywel Dda University Health Board, and Delta Well-being, the Community Hub can help with a variety of support services.

The Hub can help with getting essential shopping, collecting prescriptions, accessing support or just offer a friendly voice on the end of the phone.

The Community Hub can be contacted on 01437 776301 or [email protected]

You can also visit the website at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-community-information/community-hub

The Community Hub will be open 9am-5pm until Wednesday December 23rd and 9am-4pm on Christmas Eve.

It will re-open 9am-5pm on Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st December.

The Hub will resume normal 9-5 operating hours on Monday 4th January.