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COVID-19 update 79

Wales moves to Alert Level 0 on 7th August 

The First Minister has today announced that Wales will move into Alert Level 0 on Saturday 7th August. Mark Drakeford has also published a written statement that outlines the changes being implemented and urges the public to continue to do what they can to limit the spread of COVID-19.

With the move to alert level zero, three important rules will remain:

  • Everyone must isolate for 10 days if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or if they have a positive test result.
  • Adults and children aged 12 and over must still wear a face covering in most indoor public places in Wales, including on public transport, in shops and in healthcare settings.
  • All those responsible for premises open to the public and workplaces must carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Updated Welsh Government guidance  

The Supported Living guidance is currently being updated to reflect the changes to the restrictions and the revised version should be available soon. 

Changes to self-isolation rules

The Minister for Health and Social Services has published a written statement about changes to self-isolation for people who are fully vaccinated, which will come into effect from 7th August. Key points include:

  • People who are asymptomatic and have been fully vaccinated for more than 14 days will not have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with Coronavirus, as long as they do not live with the person.
  • Children and young people under 18 will also be exempt from the need to self-isolate if they are also identified as close contacts of a positive case.
  • But everyone who tests positive for coronavirus or has symptoms must continue to isolate for 10 days, whether they have been vaccinated or not.
  • Everyone identified as a contact of a positive case will continue to be advised to have a PCR test on day two and day eight, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

Guidance for health, social care and support staff in patient / service user facing roles

Following the announcement about changes to the self-isolation rules, the Welsh Government has given special consideration to health and social care staff who work with vulnerable people. Today, it has been announced that health, care and support providers will need to conduct a risk assessment will determine whether it is appropriate for fully vaccinated staff to return to work if they are identified as a close contact, and if additional measures are needed, such as PCR testing and daily lateral flow tests. 

The Welsh Government has published a letter in Welsh and in English to health, care and support organisations - and has also published guidance, which includes fact sheet for frontline workers and a checklist that employers can work through with frontline workers.  

The guidance applies to staff working with the following two groups of patients / service users:

  1. Workers in close contact with patients/service users - where the staff member is providing care, support or treatment which means they are unable to maintain a social distance.
  2. Workers in close contact with patients/service users who are immunosuppressed and/or clinically extremely vulnerable.

See page 3 of the guidance for more details on these two groups.

If you have any queries please contact: 

Increase in self-isolation payments

The Minister for Finance and Local Government has published a written statement about the Welsh Government's decision to increase the self-isolation payment from £500 to £750. Any applicant who is asked to self-isolate on or after 7 August will be eligible for the £750 payment. 

JCVI announcement on vaccinating Children & Young People

The Minister for Health and Social Services has published a written statement about the JCVI advice to offer an initial dose of Pfizer vaccine to all 16 and 17 year olds who haven’t been vaccinated. This is in addition to the existing offer of two doses of vaccine to 16-17 year olds who are in ‘at-risk’ groups. 

COVID-19 vaccinations for household contacts of immunosuppressed people

The Welsh Government is now prioritising household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed for vaccination. Find out more here

Technical Advisory Cell and COVID-19 Intelligence Cell and Health Protection Advisory Group   

The following reports and advice have been published:

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© Cymorth Cymru 2021
Company Registration No: 5093332
Charity No: 1116774