Pausing 'shielding' in Wales: What it means for you
The Welsh Government has announced that shielding advice will be ‘paused’ from 16th August. This means that, if Coronavirus levels keep going down, many older people will have more freedom to leave their homes.
130,000 people in Wales have been following shielding advice because of their age or a medical condition. But what will these changes mean for your day-to-day life?
If you’ve not been out and about for months, you might feel nervous about starting to go out and about again.
To help make your transition out of shielding as easy as possible, we’ve answered some of your questions below.
Is it really safe for me to go out now?
COVID-19 has not completely gone away. Until it does, it won’t be 100% safe to be with others from outside your household or ‘bubble’.
The Welsh Government has balanced the risks of Coronavirus against the effect on your wellbeing of staying at home. They think now is the right time to change their advice from staying at home to encouraging people to resume their daily lives, with care.
If you are still worried about any risks to your health, you should talk these through with your doctor to decide what’s best for you going forward.
Do I still need to keep a distance from others?
Although shielding is being paused, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be following rules around physical distancing. That includes:
- Only coming into close contact with people in your extended household (the people you live with and people you're in a 'bubble' with)
- Keeping at least 2 meters – or 3 steps – away from people who aren’t in your extended household
- Wearing a face mask in some public places, like public transport
You can find the latest advice on the Welsh Government website.
What will happen to the food parcels and other support I was getting while shielding?
The food boxes that you have been getting through your local council will come to an end from 16th August, and will not be restarting if shielding starts again. Supermarkets will still have priority home delivery slots for those on the shielding list.
The national prescription delivery service will end on 30th September.
If these changes leave you without the support you need, there may be charities or voluntary groups who can help. Get in touch with your local Care & Repair for more details – if we can’t help you, we’ll know who can.
If there’s a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19, will I be asked to shield again?
The shielding advice has been paused because the rates of Coronavirus are low. If they do start to rise, you may be asked to shield again.
The Welsh Government will keep hold of the shielding patients list, and will write to you if the advice is put back in place.
I need some repairs or adaptations made in my home. Can Care & Repair help me?
Your local Care & Repair has still been here to help older people live independently in their homes throughout the pandemic.
During this time, we had to prioritise urgent repairs or adaptations. Now the rules are being relaxed, we can do even more to help you. We are getting back to business as usual, with new safety measures in place to protect us all from the virus.
Talk to us about how we can help repair or adapt your home to suit your needs.