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Work advice updated for people who were shielding

Bridgend county borough 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.”

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.

Bridgend County Borough Council Leader Huw David

If you are isolating and need support for things such as shopping, prescription collections, loneliness and emergency social services, call Bridgend County Borough Council’s Customer Services on 01656 643643 and our team can signpost you to organisations such as the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) and other groups.

If you contact the council outside of opening times, you will be put through to the Customer and Community Support Unit, which will be available 24/7 over Christmas and New Year.

BAVO is offering emergency support to residents over the Christmas period, including mental health provision and information for those who need access to foodbank vouchers. If you are in need of emergency support, call 07851 248576 or for more information, visit the BAVO website. The phone line is covered 9am-8pm daily, except for Christmas Eve, when it closes at 4pm, and Christmas Day.

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