THOSE considered most at risk from the coronavirus can stop shielding after August 16, Wales’ chief medical officer has confirmed.

Letters have been sent to around 130,000 people in Wales from Dr Frank Atherton to those affected.

In the letter, he says the advice has changed because “infection rates in Wales are now very low”.

“Your chance of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) are much lower," he writes.

“In all of my advice to you I have tried to find the right balance between the risks of coronavirus, and the harm that asking you to continue to shield can cause.”

It means that after August 16, those who were shielding no longer need to stay two metres – or three steps – away from people they live with, or people who are part of their extended household.

They can also go to work (should they not be able to work from home).

And children can also return to school when schools restart in September.

Food boxes will also be stopping.

But those were shielding will still retain priority slots for supermarket deliveries, he said.

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The Welsh Government will keep a record of people who were shielding in case the rules change.

Dr Atherton added: “In the event of high numbers of coronavirus cases in a local area in Wales, I will consider whether I need to ask people in that local area to shield.

“If this happens or advice changes for your area we will communicate with the public via local radio and television, and I will also write to you if I need to advise you to shield again.”

If support is still needed after August 16, the Welsh Government has asked that you contact your local council.