PEOPLE who have been shielding in Wales during the coronavirus crisis can from tomorrow take exercise outdoors and meet people from another household, as long as that meeting takes place outdoors.

Tens of thousands of people across all age groups in Wales who are at high risk of developing serious illness if they are exposed to coronavirus because they have a particular serious underlying health condition, have been staying at home and minimising contact with others.

Specific guidance for those especially at risk - including people who have had an organ transplant, have certain types of cancer, or severe respiratory conditions - was issued in March by the Welsh Government, though around two million across the UK have been following such guidance, as issued by the UK Government or the relevant devolved administration.

There are two changes in advice for people shielding from coronavirus in Wales which apply for tomorrow:

• Outdoor exercise is unlimited, as long as individuals strictly follow social distancing rules and hygiene practices.

• Those who are shielding can meet outside with people from another household - but should not go into another person’s house or share food with them.

There are no other changes being made to the advice for those who are shielding at this stage. People who are shielding should continue to follow all the other advice previously given.

They should not go shopping or attend work outside of home. They should continue to have food and medicine delivered to them.


“Risk can never be completely eliminated but we advise those shielding to exercise at times that are less busy, so the risk of contact with others is reduced," said Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton.

“We have advised everyone in Wales to maintain social distance of two metres and keep good hygiene when meeting outdoors. For those who are shielding, strictly following these rules is vital.”

Health and social services minister Vaughan Gething people have been shielding diligently, "not only protecting themselves but also helping to protect our NHS.

"We recognise how challenging these last few months, with minimal face-to-face contact with others, has been," he said.

“I am incredibly proud of all those who have and continue to provide the vital support to enable people to shield. Our local authority partners, pharmacies, volunteers and major food retailers have all pulled together to make shielding possible.”

Dr Atherton is developing further advice, to apply after June 15 for people shielding in Wales.

All who are shielding will receive a letter from him in the next fortnight, setting out the next steps.