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VULNERABLE people in Wales can stop shielding after 16 August, the chief medical officer has said.

Around 130,000 people in Wales with underlying health conditions have been advised to stay indoors since the start of the pandemic to protect themselves.

Such people have included those with cancer who are undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, some on immunosuppression drugs, women who are pregnant and have heart disease, people with severe respiratory conditions – cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and COPD people with rare diseases such as severe combined immunodeficiency and organ transplant recipients.

At the coronavirus press briefing on Thursday (July 16) Dr Frank Atherton said such people in the at-risk groups would be able to go to work, school, or the shops so that they “can gradually resume day-to-day life”.

Some of the support which has been made available for those shielding will end, such as the weekly food box scheme, but supermarkets will continue to offer priority delivery slots for those who are deemed particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. Also, the prescription delivery service will remain in place until 30 September.

Dr. Atherton said that the measures would be kept under review in case of a rise in transmission levels, emphasising it was still very important that people in the shielding group continued to pay strict attention to physical distancing and good hand hygiene.

He added that “it maybe – we hope not – but it maybe we may have to reinstitute some form of shielding in the future,”


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