Welsh residents who were previously shielding are being advised that they should no longer attend work or school outside the home.
Welsh Government has updated its advice to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, particularly those whose work requires them to be in regular or sustained contact with other people, or where individuals share a poorly ventilated workspace for long periods.
The decision has been influenced by the significant growth in rates of infection, possibly due to the new variant of the coronavirus. This advice will be reviewed on a three-weekly basis aligned to the Welsh Government reviews of alert levels across Wales.
Announcing the change in advice, Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said: “Individuals in this group are already subject to the regulations in place at level four and therefore must stay at home as much as possible.
“However, you can still go outside to exercise and attend medical appointments, and can remain part of a support bubble, as long as you take care.
“We have been clear that the safest option for people within this group is not to be part of a Christmas bubble. However, if they choose to do so they should follow the advice provided on our website.
“I am also asking employers to take note of the change to advice and support their employees to follow it.”
Bridgend Council Leader, Cllr Huw David, said: “Letters will be issued to residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales confirming this advice but will take some time to arrive due to the festive period. These letters can be used as evidence for the purposes of claiming statutory sick pay.
“If you were previously shielding, please stay at home for work or school. Our health services are under huge pressure at the moment with increasing hospitalisations due to Covid-19.”