Kidney Wales, Kidney Care UK and the Paul Popham Fund have come together to write a joint letter to Vaughan Gething AM, the Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services, to respond to the changes to government advice for people who are shielding.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales initially advised those who were most susceptible to the most serious effects of COVID 19 to shield for a period of 12 weeks. That initial 12 weeks comes to an end on 15 June and the Chief Medical Officer for Wales has now confirmed the next steps for this group of people that will apply until 16 August.

From 1 June the advice allowed unlimited exercise outdoors, and also indicated that those shielding could meet with members of one other household outdoors, as long as strict physical distancing and hygiene practices are adhered to. For further information on how to keep safe, read Kidney Care’s Coronavirus guidance for people with kidney disease.

Going forward, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales will start to review the advice for those who are shielding on the same cycle as the review of the lockdown regulations. However, we do not expect any further changes until 16 June. Read the statement on the shielding up-date from Welsh Government.

Judith Stone, Managing Director of Kidney Wales commented: “Shielding has highlighted vulnerability and has negatively impacted the self-perception of people who may have been previously living full and active lives. The ability to exercise outdoors, with caution, is welcome as the government tries to find the right balance between keeping people safe from Coronavirus and allowing a quality of life that is manageable. However the statement from government does not answer many questions regarding the status of people who are employed and on furlough leave, implications for families with children returning to school, continued provision of food boxes etc. The kidney charities have joined together to call on Welsh Government to provide clearer communication with people who are shielding, a strategy for supporting vulnerable groups and more support for parents and carers”.

Join Kidney Wales’ Facebook Live Q&A session, with Dr Mike Stephens, Consultant Transplant Surgeon, on Tuesday 9 June 2020 on ‘Shielding for people with kidney disease: the next steps’.