VULNERABLE members of society in Wales have been told that they will not have to shield from coronavirus as they did at the beginning of the pandemic.

That is according to health minister Eluned Morgan, in a statement released today.

At the start of the pandemic, to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, the Welsh Government produced a list of people who needed to take extra precautions and to shield themselves against coronavirus.

Ms Morgan said: "We now know a great deal more about the virus.

"This means that the numbers of people who need to exercise extreme caution has been reduced significantly.

"In light of this change of context we will be ending the share of the shielding patient list with these partners.

"In the first months of the pandemic, we advised thousands of people, who were at the greatest risk of contracting the virus and of coming to serious harm as a consequence, to shield.

"We put in place a range of support to help them shield – from weekly free food deliveries to access to medicines and other services. This included provision of drinking water in circumstances where supplies were disrupted."

Ms Morgan said that the position now was "very different".
"The advice to follow shielding measures was paused on April 1," she said.

"The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has indicated he does not intend to ask people to shield again."

Capacity for home deliveries has increased across all major food retailers and there has been a significant drop in the number of people on the Shielding Patient List who are using priority shopping slots.

"Retailers have assured us they have the capacity to meet demands as part of the normal course of business," Ms Morgan said.

The Welsh Government will continue to retain and update the existing list for up to six months, according to Ms Morgan.