The Welsh Government has today given an update to guidance for Wales around Covid measures. These will come into force from Boxing Day onward.
To help you and loved ones stay safe this Christmas, the Welsh Government strongly advise everyone follows these 5 measures:
* Consider limiting the number of people visiting your home – no set number has been placed on this, but it is strongly advised to not have lots of different households mixing indoors at the same time. A suggestion of no more than three households has been offered, alongside the suggestion to space out social interactions on different days.
* If people are visiting, make sure they take a lateral flow test in the morning before the visit you or before you go to visit others.
* Meeting outdoors is ideally better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors then try to keep spaces well ventilated.
* We still need to adhere to sensible physical distancing and washing your hands. Wearing masks is not required at home, but may be an added precaution you might want to take if you have vulnerable at home.
In terms of supported living providers and residential care settings, all providers are to make use of their risk assessment processes they have in place to help plan visits as safely as possible.
However, it is important to note that today’s announcement does not place a ban or restrictions on visiting, other than the sensible advice provided above. Lateral flow tests are likely to be required for those who are visiting. We hope that existing plans for visiting will remain in place for you all as families, unless there is a covid case either in your family or within your loved one’s home/residence.
The most up to date care home guidance can be found here
The Welsh Government will not be making new legal rules about mixing in people’s private homes, including gardens, in holiday accommodation or meeting outdoors, but has issued the above guidance to support safer social mixing over the next few weeks.
Some of the other legal measures being put in place include:
- A general requirement of 2m physical distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
- The rule of 6 will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
- All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.
- Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.
- Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.
(We’re not yet sure on how this may impact on community support services in public or private buildings – but we may see a temporary return to reduced numbers in community buildings or planned activities. We know that for some areas services had not yet returned to normal levels, so this would be an added frustration.
( Please keep us aware of any issues in the new year when services are due to resume. We will update when we get any further clarification.)
- There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.
Last week new measures were announced for workplaces and retail (extra measures in place to protect customers and staff, such as one-way systems and physical barriers) – these will now come into force on Boxing Day. Nightclubs will also close on Boxing Day.
Read the full announcement here.
We recognise that further restrictions will bring a mixture of emotions to us all as families this Christmas. We are pleased to see that we can all still spend quality time with our loved ones, and that some measures have been put in place to help manage the risks of the new variant.
However, we are also concerned by the potential variety we may see of how the new restrictions are implemented over the next two or three weeks. We will continue to work with you, our partner organisations and with Welsh Government to try to ensure any new measures do not impact unfairly on Learning Disability and Autism families across Wales.
Please remember that the Wales Learning Disability Helpline will be open throughout December for wider queries and concerns;
Call or email Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm including bank holidays.
0808 8000 300
In the meantime, we wish you all a healthy and peaceful Christmas break.
With best wishes,
The AWF Team