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Help for sanctuary seekers to understand their rights

What you need to know

You can access all the up to date information and advice about coronavirus here:

https://covid.reciteme.com/nhs-novel/

You can spread the virus even if you have no symptoms. People who are ill may have a cough or a high temperature.

If you need any treatment with coronavirus symptoms, you will not have to pay. You do not need to worry, your information will not be shared with the UK Government.

Please contact ‘999’ if you need urgent medical attention.

Public Health Wales has also created a coronavirus help booklet. It is available in many different languages:

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-grid-links/covid-19-help-for-refugees-and-asylum-seekers/

‘Doctors of the World’ has provided information in many different languages:

https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/#

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Title
Mental health
Body

C.A.L.L is a mental health helpline for Wales. It operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It offers a confidential listening and support service during the coronavirus crisis.

If you need to speak to someone, you can call the following free phone number:

0800 132 737 or;

Text ‘Help’ to 81066

For information of any other help available, please visit this website:

http://www.callhelpline.org.uk/

 

Doctors of the World’ has provided information in many different languages:

https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/wellbeing-guidance/#

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Housing
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During the Covid-19 crisis, your local authority should provide accommodation for refused asylum seekers. They should also provide this for anyone who is homeless with 'No recourse to public funds'.

Use the ‘Your Local Area’ page to find out how to contact your local authority to register for accommodation.

Your information should not be shared with the UK Government during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Education for all ages
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During the Covid-19 outbreak, schools are closed and children are being asked to learn at home. If you do not have access to the technology you need to do this, your local authority should be able to help. Use the 'Your Local Area' page to find out how to contact your local authority to access technology.

Free School Meals

Access to free school meals is likely to be different during the Covid-19 outbreak. Local authorities provide funds to make sure asylum seekers can continue to feed their children. Use the 'Your Local area' page to find out how to contact your local authority to access free school meals.

Learning English

Some resources are still available for those trying to learn English. These resources are available below:

Headway online www.elt.oup.com Free to access, Entry level 1- Level 2

ESOL Courses (beginners) https://www.esolcourses.com/content/topicsmenu/beginners.html , or  https://en.diglin.eu/

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Asylum Law
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During the Covid-19 outbreak, some of the asylum processes have changed or are on hold. Every person’s case will be different. It is important that you do not ignore official letters. Seek individual legal advice from a legal advisor in your area.

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Jobs
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During the Covid-19 outbreak, the UK government has a scheme to avoid people losing their jobs.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

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Vitamin D
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Vitamin D deficiency

We are currently advising people to stay at home. For most people, this will mean being indoors for most of the day. It could mean that people are not getting enough vitamin D from exposure to sunshine. 

Vitamin D helps to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. It also plays an important role in the immune system, which helps our body fight infection.

The risk of vitamin D deficiency is higher among certain groups. This includes pregnant women, babies and young children. People who have darker skin may be deficient too. This is because their bodies are not able to make as much vitamin D.

It is recommended that people in groups above take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

For further information, please visit:

https://gov.wales/vitamin-d-advice-everyone-coronavirus

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Apply for a coronavirus test
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How to get tested

 

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate and get a test. Coronavirus symptoms are:

 

a new continuous cough

 

a high temperature

 

loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

 

 

Your local health board may offer you a test if you feel unwell, even if you don’t have coronavirus symptoms. Unless you develop one of the three recognised symptoms, you and your household do not have to self-isolate.

 

 

How to get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms

 

If you have coronavirus symptoms you need to take a test within the first 5 days of having symptoms. The test checks if you have coronavirus right now and not if you’ve already had the virus.

 

You can apply for a test for yourself or someone in your household with symptoms. This includes adults and children, including those under 5.

 

 

Book a test online

 

Book a test online (on GOV.UK)

 

You will be asked to input your post code. The system will offer you appointments at the nearest testing sites with available slots.

 

If there are no tests available, try again later, as tests become available during the day.

 

 

Book a test by telephone

 

Call 119 between 7am and 11pm (calls are free).

 

If you have hearing or speech difficulties: call 18001119.

 

This service is available to help you book a test, but it cannot provide clinical advice.

 

It is available for support throughout the testing process. It offers support in up to 650 languages, including British Sign Language (BSL).

 

 

Assisted COVID-19 testing at home

 

If you are unable to do a test at home yourself and you cannot attend a test site you should call 119 and explain that you need an assisted COVID-19 test at home.

 

The call handler will give you a phone number for your local health board. Call this number to arrange a home visit.

 

Your local health board will arrange a date and time to assist you with the test. They will either call you before arriving or agree a password with you which the testers can use to identify themselves when they arrive at your door.

 

Results of the test will be sent by text message, so you will need to provide a mobile number. This can be yours or someone who can act as a delegated contact for you.

 

 

Taking the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test

 

The PCR test looks for the genetic code of the virus. The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

 

You can do the swab yourself or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.

 

 

Test results

 

The system and process used to notify you of your test results varies depending on the method you chose. When you book the test you will be given more information about how you’ll get your result. You should receive your test result within 72 hours.

 

If you’ve had a test at a:

 

mass testing centre

 

mobile testing unit

 

local testing site

 

If you are a critical worker and had a test at a community testing unit operated by the local health board, please contact your local health board for questions about test results.

 

If you’ve received your test result and have questions or need further advice, please visit Public Health Wales information for individuals tested for COVID-19 infection.

 

 

Testing people with no symptoms (asymptomatic)

 

Almost 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus, do not have any symptoms. They could be spreading the disease without knowing it. 

 

Get rapid lateral flow COVID-19 tests if you do not have symptoms.

 

 

If you need medical advice about your symptoms:

 

Contact the 111 online coronavirus service or your GP if you feel your symptoms aren’t improving or you need advice.

 

If you don’t have internet access, call 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you or your relative have COVID-19 symptoms.

 

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Download COVID-19 App
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Until we have a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, we need to stop the spread of coronavirus by testing and contact tracing.

The NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of our Test Trace Protect programme to control the spread of COVID-19. The app will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.

The app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus.

The app will help the NHS understand if the virus is spreading in a particular area, and so local authorities can respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives.

The app does this while protecting a user’s anonymity. Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is.

The app is available for download from the Apple app store or Google Play store.

By downloading and using the app, you can help keep your family and friends safe. The more people who use the app the greater our chances of reducing the spread of the virus.

How the app supports you

If you choose to download the app, six key features will help you and your community.

Trace

The app detects and logs other nearby app users using random unique IDs. If any of those users later test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), you will receive an exposure alert with advice on what to do. If you are under 18, you are advised to show this alert to a trusted adult.

Alert

When you first register for the app you will be asked for the first half of your postcode. You can check the app every day to see whether where you live has become a high risk area for coronavirus. If it is, you will also receive a notification to let you know. This will help you make daily decisions to protect yourself and those you love.

Check-in

The app allows you to record when you visit a venue by “checking-in” when you arrive, using the venue’s QR code. The app records your arrival at the venue without recording any personal information. You will receive a notification if that venue is later identified by health authorities as ‘high risk’ due to confirmed coronavirus cases at the time of your visit.

Symptoms

If you feel unwell, you can use the app to check if your symptoms could be related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Test

If you have coronavirus symptoms, the app will take you to a website where you can book a test to see if you have coronavirus or not.

Isolate

If you have been advised by the app to self-isolate, the app provides a countdown timer so that you can keep track of how long you need to self-isolate. When you reach the end of your self-isolation period, the app will send you a notification reminder with a link to the latest advice for you.

You may be entitled to a payment of £750 under the Test, Trace, Protect self-isolation support scheme. Find out more information about how to apply through the COVID-19 app, on NHS COVID-19 app support.

How the app works

The NHS COVID-19 app uses your smartphone’s existing “Exposure Logging” feature to work out if you have spent time near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

For this to work, your Bluetooth needs to be turned on: this will not drain your battery as the app uses “Bluetooth Low Energy”.

It will use your postcode district to tell you if your area is at risk. When you download the app you will be asked to share the first 4 letters and digits of your postcode with NHS Wales. A postcode district generally contains about 8,000 addresses. This means that your specific location cannot be identified.

Your personal privacy and data

The app will not hold any personal information about you or track your location. The app uses random unique IDs to detect other NHS COVID-19 app users so that alerts can be sent. Using these random IDs means that your interactions with other app users remain private. All records, such as date, time and how near you are to other users, are stored on your phone only. You can also delete the app and all the data it stores, whenever you choose.

The app cannot be used:

to identify you

to track you

to check if you are self-isolating

by law enforcement

Further information about the NHS COVID-19 app

Further information about the app and how to use it can be found on the NHS COVID-19 app support website.

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Coronavirus Rules
Body

 

More detailed guidance is available in the following areas:

 

if you want to know more about the main risks to you and others of exposure to coronavirus and how you can minimise them

 

if you want to know what a business, employer or other organisation should be doing to minimise risks to staff and customers

 

if you want to know about the rules around self-isolation

 

if you want to know about the rules around face coverings

 

 

We all need to continue to work together to keep Wales safe and keep levels of coronavirus under control.

 

We have sought to keep any differences with other parts of the UK to a minimum and are working very closely with the other nations. It is important to understand that the rules here in Wales are different.

 

This guidance and FAQs applies to Wales. For the rules or guidance in the other parts of the UK, please visit the sites for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 

 

Is coronavirus still spreading?

 

The pandemic is not over and the virus continues to circulate. We may see cases increase as we mix more with others.

 

Vaccination is one of our best defences against the spread of coronavirus. But no vaccine is 100% effective and some fully vaccinated people could still become infected or pass the virus to others without knowing. The more people that are vaccinated, the lower the risk to everyone else.

 

It is really important for everyone to say yes to vaccination where they can. We should also continue to think about what else we can keep doing to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Some people are not able to take up the offer of a vaccine as the vaccine does not work as well.

 

Vaccines have weakened the link between infections, serious illness and hospitalisation, but that link has not been broken. The higher the rates of coronavirus, the more people will get COVID-19 and some will also suffer with long-COVID.

 

 

How can I protect myself and others and prevent the spread of coronavirus?

 

We all have to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus. This is even as restrictions are largely removed under Alert Level 0. Transmission of coronavirus is most strongly associated with close and prolonged contact in indoor places. The highest risks are in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces over extended periods.

 

The most effective way to minimise risks is to take up the offer of vaccination, where we can. Both doses of vaccine are needed to have protection. It takes at least two weeks (14 days) after the second dose before a person will have the full protection from the vaccine.

 

It is never too late to get the vaccine and walk-in centres are open. Businesses and employers should encourage their workforce to take up the vaccine offer.  

 

Even if you’ve been fully vaccinated, remember the best ways to minimise risks

 

work from home whenever you can

 

get tested and self-isolate, even for mild symptoms

 

meet outside, it is safer than inside

 

limit the time and number of people you interact with

 

keep your distance when you can

 

wash your hands and wear a face mask, especially in crowded places

 

As we move into the autumn, we will be offering a booster to the most vulnerable individuals who were vaccinated first. This will top up their protection before the winter months.

 

 

How to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

 

All adults over 18 years old have already been offered a vaccine. Over 2.1 million people in Wales are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. There is still time for you to take up the offer of your first dose, or your second dose if you’ve been waiting longer than eight weeks. We will then move onto the next phase of the vaccination programme.

 

To make an appointment for either your first or second dose, contact your local health board. You can have a look at their website to know how to book a slot or to find out about their walk-in vaccination settings.  

 

All 16 and 17 year olds are also to be offered a vaccination as well as young people over the age of 12 years with specific underlying health conditions. Children and young people over the age of 12 years who live in a household with someone who is immunosuppressed can also ask for a vaccine.

 

All UK authorised COVID vaccines are safe. They provide a high level of protection against infection and severe illness. We are currently providing the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. These are available through all our vaccination centres. These vaccines are being offered for all first doses regardless of age. 

 

Usually you will be offered the same vaccine for both your first and second dose. If the same vaccine isn’t available at the vaccination centre you can safely have a different vaccine for the second dose. 

 

 

I am classed as clinically extremely vulnerable what precautions should I take?

 

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you can follow the same rules/guidance as everyone else in Wales. You are also advised to take extra care in considering the ways you can minimise risk to keep yourself safe. You may wish to think carefully about taking precautions when meeting others you do not usually meet with.

 

For example:

 

Meeting outside if possible. The particles containing the virus that causes COVID-19 are quickly blown away. This makes it less likely that they will be breathed in by another person

 

Making sure the space is well ventilated if you meet inside. You can do this by opening windows and doors where you can to let in plenty of fresh air

 

Washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face.

 

Read guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.

 

 

Should I take any extra precautions if I am pregnant?

 

If you are pregnant, you should follow the same official guidance provided for everyone. If you are more than 27 weeks pregnant, or if you are pregnant and have an underlying health condition at any point in your pregnancy, you may want to consider limiting close contact with people you do not normally meet with. It would provide greater protection for you and your baby if the other people you meet with have been fully vaccinated. You can find further advice on pregnancy and coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy and haven’t yet been vaccinated, you are advised to get vaccinated as soon as possible. You should then book your second dose as soon as you are eligible. You can find further advice on Pregnancy, breastfeeding, fertility and coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination (on www.nhs.uk)

 

 

How many people are allowed in my home?

 

There are no longer any legal limits on the number of people that can meet in each other’s homes. You should still think about the risks of having people in your home.

 

We need to continue doing those things we know protect us and others. For example:

 

if possible, meet people in your garden or outdoors

 

wash your hands frequently and sneeze into tissues you throw away

 

get fresh air flowing indoors by opening windows and doors

 

limit the number of people you meet at any one occasion. The amount of time you spend with people and maintain physical distancing where you can

 

 

Are there any rules on who I can meet, where and when?

 

There no legal limits on the number of people who can meet at public places or at events. We all want to meet friends again but think about what is the most sensible thing for you to do to protect your family.

 

It’s less risky to see the same one or two people regularly than to see lots of different people occasionally. The fewer people we meet and the less we are in crowds, the less chance we have to become infected with, or to spread, coronavirus. This is particularly important when rates of coronavirus are high.

 

 

Have the rules on hospital visits changed?

 

The current hospital visiting guidance has not changed. The focus remains on ensuring the balance between protecting the many individuals who are receiving treatment in our hospitals and allowing visiting friends and families. The guidance allows health boards and trusts to determine visiting policies based on local assessment of risk. This takes into account prevalence of COVID-19 in the local area and any in-hospital transmission. You should not visit anyone in hospital setting for 10 days if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or after higher risk activities.  

 

Read more information on hospital guidance.

 

 

Have the rules on care home visits changed?

 

The limit of two visitors at a time per resident has been removed. Providers should manage the number of visitors according to their risk assessment. The guidance also clarifies that visits may take place in residents’ rooms as well as in a designated visiting space. 

 

The revised guidance will enable each care home resident to nominate an “essential visitor” . This visitor may continue to visit their relative or friend indoors during an outbreak at the care home as long as they have tested negative. This will ensure that people can continue to benefit from regular visits if wider restrictions on routine visits are put in place. You should not visit anyone in a care setting for 10 days if you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or after higher risk activities.    

 

Read more information on care home guidance.

 

 

When will I need to wear a face covering?

 

Wearing face coverings is still a legal requirement in almost all indoor public places. This includes on almost all public transport and in shops and health and social care settings. The use of face coverings in education will be determined at a local level.

 

Face coverings will not be legally required in hospitality settings. This includes restaurants, pubs and cafes, where food and drink is served. Those businesses may still ask you to wear a face covering in certain parts of the premises.

 

If a business is multi-purpose, with food & drink, face coverings must still be worn by staff and customers in all areas of the business. This is apart from the specific areas where food & drink are consumed.

 

 

Do I still need to keep 2 metres away from others?

 

Physical distancing is a key way to stop coronavirus spreading. We advise people to exercise caution and think about physical distancing from people they don’t live with. Coronavirus is still circulating in the community. We encourage everyone to think about how they can protect themselves and their loved ones. Businesses and premises may require people to maintain physical distancing as part of the measures they are required to take to protect people from coronavirus.

 

Staying at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with makes a big difference in reducing the chances of the virus spreading. The closer we get and the longer we spend face-to-face with others, the greater the risk of catching the virus.

 

If you become infected keep your distance from other members of your household. Especially if they are clinically extremely vulnerable.

 

Most businesses, workplaces and other places are still likely to require some degree of physical distancing. There is still a legal requirement for such places to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

 

 

How do I know if I have COVID-19 and how do I get tested if I think I have COVID-19

 

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the three main symptoms which are:

 

  • a high temperature: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

 

  • a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

 

  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste: this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

 

Anyone displaying any of these three symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home and self-isolate . They should make arrangements to be tested. If the test result is negative the person can return to their regular routine when they are well enough to do so.

 

 

I have been asked to take an antibody test. Can you explain why?

 

Since 24 August 2021 everyone over the age of 18 was offered to opt-in to antibody testing. This was when registering for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on the online government portal. Randomly selected individuals, out of those who opt-in and test positive for COVID-19 following a PCR test, are posted two finger prick antibody tests to use at home and return for analysis. This is part of a UK wide antibody programme to support our understanding of vaccine effectiveness and immune response to COVID-19 .

 

For further information on PPPATI.

 

 

Individuals receiving a positive test result

 

If you receive a positive test result, you must self-isolate for 10 days and follow the stay at home guidance. All other unvaccinated household members (if over the age of 18) should self-isolate at the same time. You will be breaking the law and could be fined if you do not stay at home and self isolate. If you receive a positive lateral flow test (LFT) result, you should isolate and arrange a follow-up PCR test.

 

 

Individuals identified as a contact of a positive case of COVID-19 and who are 18 and over and who are not fully vaccinated

 

A contact tracer will only contact you if it has been confirmed that you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus. If you are 18 and over and have not been fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate for 10 days. You are considered to be fully vaccinated, if it is at least 14 full days since you had the full course of an approved vaccine, and it was administered in the UK. If you have not completed your vaccination course at least 14 full days prior to close contact, or if you received your vaccination outside of the UK, you will be required to self-isolate if contacted by TTP.

 

Contact tracers will tell you that you can book PCR tests online. This should be done on day 2 from your last contact with the person who tested positive and again on day 8. If the tests are negative, you will still need to self-isolate for the full 10 day period. It is really important to take these tests even if you do not have symptoms. If you have been infected, it can take time for symptoms to develop and you may be infectious to others.

 

If any of the test results come back positive, you will start a new 10 day period of self-isolation from the day you took your test.

 

 

Close contacts of positive case of COVID-19 who are not required to self-isolate

 

From 7 August you will not be asked to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19. You need to have been fully vaccinated or are under 18. You are considered to be fully vaccinated if you received the full course of an approved vaccine within the UK and it has been at least two weeks (14 days) since you completed a full course.

 

If you have participated in a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial, you do not need to self-isolate if contacted by TTP.

 

Contact tracers will call you to inform you that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You will be offered PCR tests on day 2 from your last contact with the person who tested positive and again on day 8. It is important that you take these tests even if you feel well, you may have COVID-19 even if you do not have symptoms.

 

Contact tracers will also provide you with advice and guidance about what you can do to protect yourself. For example:

 

try to minimise contact with others and avoid crowded settings, particularly indoor settings

 

consider using lateral flow tests on a daily/ more regular basis for the time you would otherwise have been self-isolating

 

do not visit vulnerable people such as those in care homes or hospitals

 

informing your employer that you are a contact of case of COVID-19

 

working from home if you are not already doing so

 

paying extra attention to hand washing and wearing a face covering

 

if you work in the Health and Social Care sector your employer may ask you to take additional tests as a precaution. They may also ask you to undertake an alternative role as outlined in the COVID-19 contacts: guidance for health and social care staff

 

There may be certain circumstances where contacts who are fully vaccinated or under 18 may still be asked to self-isolate by the Test, Trace, Protect service. See related guidance (contact tracing: your questions).

 

If any of the test results come back positive, you will start a new 10 day period of self-isolation from the day you took your test.

 

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms at any point you should immediately self-isolate and arrange a COVID-19 PCR test.

 

 

What support is available for recovery from COVID-19?

 

Long COVID is a term used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after COVID‑19. These might include fatigue, breathlessness, or heart, physical or psychological impacts.

 

Most people with long COVID are likely to need a rehabilitation approach. Health and care services in the community are ideally placed to provide this. In some cases, you may need to go to hospital for further investigation. If this is the case, you will be referred by your GP.

 

Further information on getting support is available. This is where you can also find links to find out more about support from your local health board and other sources of information. This includes the COVID Recovery App.

 

 

What do businesses and employers have to do to keep me safe?

 

Business, employers and other organisations have a duty to protect their employees and customers.

 

There is still a legal requirement for businesses, employers and other organisations to carry out a risk assessment. They should take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to and spread of coronavirus.

 

There are a wide range of things that may need to be put in place to lower risks. These are set out in more detail in separate guidance.

 

These requirements are a legal duty, and you should follow any rules that are put in place by your employer or any businesses or other organisations you visit. This might include:

 

physical distancing in the premises

 

limiting numbers or group sizes

 

providing contact details to support contact tracing

 

providing table service

 

limiting numbers of people at pinch-points, such as toilets

 

use of face coverings, even in indoor premises not normally open to the public

 

There will be other measures that businesses and others take that may not be as visible, such as a premises improving ventilation or regular testing of staff.

 

 

What support is available for business?

 

Welsh Government emergency business support packages have now closed for applications. The latest round of the Economic Resilience Fund covers operating costs (excluding staff wages) up to 31 August 2021. The Cultural Recovery Fund covers costs until 30 September 2021.

 

Please refer to the Business Wales website for updates on available funding. This is as well as a range of other advice and support around starting or growing a business, including the Economic Futures Fund.

 

The Development Bank of Wales continues to provide flexible business finance for companies based in Wales. This ranges from £1,000 up to £10 million.

 

All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or below will receive 100% non-domestic rates relief in 2021-22. Read the guidance on the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Rates Relief scheme.

 

Details of UK Government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (due to close on 31 September) can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

 

 

What support is available if I am not able to work?

 

People can apply to receive a £750 payment if they have tested positive for coronavirus or they are required to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service or the NHS COVID-19 App. 

 

The payment is available to people on a low income who are unable to work from home and would lose income as a result of self-isolating. To be eligible, people must be self-isolating and in receipt of Universal Credit or another specified benefit.

 

People can also apply to their local authority for a discretionary payment. This is they are unable to work from home and are losing income and facing financial hardship. Parents and carers of children who have been asked to self-isolate through their education setting are also able to apply.

 

The Self-Isolation Payment scheme has been live since 16 November 2020. People are able to apply for the payments via their local authority website. Claims must be made within 21 days of the period of self-isolation ending. Please see the self-isolation support scheme page to find out more.

 

People who are self-isolating may also be able to access help from voluntary organisations in their area. This is if they do not have any friends or family who can help them with getting food and other essentials.

 

 

Do I have to work from home?

 

We ask those who can work from home to do so as part of Wales’ overall efforts to control the spread of the virus. It is the most effective way to minimise exposure to coronavirus at the workplace.

 

It is very important that if people have symptoms of coronavirus, they do not come into work and get a PCR test.

 

There is an expectation that employers should be as flexible as possible. They should make adjustments to ensure staff are able to work from home wherever that is possible. This may include issuing staff with laptops or mobile phones and facilitating communication with all.

 

 

What are the rules around car sharing?

 

If you cannot work from home and need to travel to work, you should consider how to do so in the safest way possible. Please refer to the Alert level 0: guidance for the public and the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group Report on plastic screens in taxis and private hire vehicles for more information,

 

Where it cannot be avoided, you should take steps to minimise the risk of coronavirus. This includes increasing physical distancing as much as possible, opening windows for the whole journey or for 10 seconds at a time and wear a face covering.

 

 

What is the situation in childcare, playwork and education settings?

 

While we would expect childcare, playwork and education settings to be operating as close to normal as possible they will need to continue to risk assess their provision.

 

Read further guidance:

 

Childcare and Playwork COVID-19 guidance

 

Operational guidance for schools and settings

 

Operational guidance for post-16 learning

 

We will publish 'The Local COVID-19 Infection Control Decision Framework' at the start of the autumn term for all education settings. The framework will enable education settings to tailor some of the interventions to reflect the level of risk identified locally. All settings will continue to be supported by public health officials and their local authorities. Each local authority has incident management teams, or similar, in place to bring key experts together to inform decisions.

 

 

Will big events be required to do lateral-flow tests on entry?

 

Event organisers must still put in place reasonable measures to minimise the risk of coronavirus as they currently do.

 

Where events are pre-ticketed, consideration should be given to asking attendees to complete a pre-attendance health check questionnaire or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or of being fully vaccinated. 

 

The use of lateral flow tests is one way that risks of infected people entering and spreading coronavirus could be minimised. Organisers may also wish to consider asking all those attending the event site to undertake a voluntary at home rapid COVID-19 test. Tests can be ordered through the Welsh Government website here: Get rapid lateral flow COVID-19 tests if you do not have symptoms.

 

 

What are the rules for domestic travel into or out of Wales from or to the rest of the UK?

 

There are no restrictions in place for travel into or out of Wales. This is as long as you are travelling to or from a country within the UK or wider Common Travel Area (Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).

 

It is important to understand that the rules here in Wales are slightly different. 

 

It is a legal obligation in Wales to wear a face covering in all indoor public places. This requirement applies to all public transport. This includes taxis and private vehicle hire. This also applies to indoor areas of transport hubs such as bus stations, railway stations, airports and ferry ports. 

 

If travelling by public transport we would encourage you to plan your journey. If you wish to avoid busy periods you can use apps, such as Transport for Wales’ capacity checker. It is a sensible to avoid travelling to and from areas with a higher incidence rates if you can.

 

We are not introducing any legal restrictions on travel within the UK at this point. People should avoid travelling to areas with high prevalence of coronavirus if they can avoid it.

 

Separate rules apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where travel may be restricted to or from different places. You should check the rules before travelling to those countries.

 

Do not travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating. Get a test and follow the guidance.

 

We would urge anyone planning a break in Wales from an area with higher rates of coronavirus to test themselves twice weekly. They can do this by using the free COVID-19 lateral flow tests, before they travel. Only those who have a negative test result and no symptoms of coronavirus should travel. Everyone coming to Wales from areas with higher rates of coronavirus should bring lateral flow testing kits with them. They can then continue regular testing while on holiday.

 

Lateral flow testing kits are available from local collection points across the UK. More information is available at: Regular rapid lateral flow coronavirus (COVID-19) tests (on www.nhs.uk)

 

 

What are the rules for International Travel?

 

Measures to prevent new coronavirus infections being imported, as a result of international travel are important. This will remain part of the measures required over the summer at Alert Level 0.

 

New variants present one of the biggest risks to the success of our vaccination programme. If a variant that our vaccines are not effective against establishes itself in the UK, we could once again see high levels of serious illness, hospitalisations and deaths.

 

Our strong advice continues to be that people should avoid all non-essential international travel. This is the year to holiday at home. We will continue to work across the UK to agree common safeguards to reduce risks from international travel.

 

If you do need to travel overseas, check what you will need to consider before you go, and see guidance on the requirements for arriving in Wales.

 

Organising an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people is a separate criminal offence. Breaking this rule may lead to an unlimited fine or a fine of £10,000.

 

Title
Vaccination
Body

Why is the vaccine important?


The vaccines offer safe and effective individual protection from COVID-19. It will also offer greater protection for our loved ones and communities.

 

By vaccinating everyone in Wales we will:


protect people from COVID-19

 

enable us to lift restrictions in due course

 

help us to return to a more normal life

 

What vaccines are available?


Pfizer-BioNTech


Oxford-AstraZeneca


Moderna


All three vaccines were effective in all groups in the trials after two doses.


Who can have the vaccine?


The NHS has vaccinated people in order of clinical risk, based on age groups from old to young. Some people are more at risk than others from COVID-19 due to poor health. This is why the vaccine programme protects them first.


People with very poor health include:

 

Chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic liver disease

Chronic neurological disease including epilepsy

Severe and profound learning disability

Diabetes

Solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients

People with specific cancers

Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment

Asplenia and splenic dysfunction

Morbid obesity

Severe mental illness

 

Young people at risk of Covid-19 may be considered for vaccination but generally children are not badly affected by COVID-19.

 

The NHS are on track to offer over 90% of the population of Wales their first dose by the end of July.

 

If you are living in Wales, or a temporary resident, register with your local GP practice. They will send you an invitation for vaccination.

 

There is a small number of people who cannot have the vaccine, this includes anyone who has ever had:
 

- a life threatening reaction to a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccines

 

Factors may vary for each vaccine. If you’re not sure if you should get the vaccine, talk to your doctor or nurse. They can help you make an informed choice about vaccination.

 

How do I get my vaccine?


The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccine, either by telephone or letter.


All health boards are now inviting people aged 17 years and 9 months for vaccination. If you have not received an invitation or think you have been missed please contact your local health board.


Everyone will get two doses of the vaccine. You will have a higher level of protection after the second dose. You will be invited back for your second dose within 12 weeks of the first dose.

 

You will get a credit card-sized NHS Wales immunisation card when you have your COVID-19 vaccine. The card records information about your vaccine and your appointments, and contains advice on how to report any side effects.

 

If you can’t attend your appointment, please give as much notice as possible by phoning the booking centre.

 

If you are unwell or had a positive COVID-19 test in the last 28 days, you should not attend your vaccination appointment and book later.

 

If you are self-isolating because of travel or you are a contact of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases you should not attend.

 

Your vaccine will not be wasted and another appointment will be made available.

 

How does the vaccine work?

 

Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives.

 

Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases. It's safer for your immune system to learn how to protect you from disease through vaccination than attempting to treat infection.

 

The majority of people in Wales have said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available.

 

The long term response to the pandemic requires a safe and effective vaccine to be available for all who need it. Like all medicines, no vaccine is 100% effective. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having a vaccination, but this should be less harmful.

 

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine. But it is possible to catch COVID-19 and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination. The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

a new continuous cough

a high temperature

a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

 

If you have any of these symptoms, stay at home and arrange to have a test by phoning 119 (calls are free). Some health boards test for a wider range of symptoms. Please check your local health board website for any extra symptoms that would make you eligible for a test in your area. If you need more information on symptoms visit: 111.wales.nhs.uk

 

Pregnancy

 

Vaccination is being offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population, based on age and clinical risk.

 

PHW and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have produced a pregnancy COVID-19 vaccine decision making tool.

 

You can talk to your vaccinator or a healthcare professional about the jab if you have any concerns.

 

Breastfeeding

 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says there is no known risk in giving the COVID-19 vaccines to breastfeeding women.

 

If you are eligible and have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine while you are breast-feeding, you should discuss the benefits and risks of having the vaccine with your healthcare professional.

 

Read the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination on Public Health Wales.

 

Side effects

 

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them.

 

Very rare allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can happen after vaccines or medicines. Health professionals watch out for the early signs and respond fast.

 

You will be asked if you have ever had any serious allergic reactions before you are offered vaccination.

 

Very rare blood-clotting problem affecting a small number of people has been reported who have had the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it’s not clear why it affects some people. This is being carefully reviewed by medical authorities.  The JCVI advises as a precaution that it’s preferable for people under the age of 40 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine to AstraZeneca.

 

Here is a link to patient information/COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting) and (link to blood-clotting leaflet resource).

 

If you experience side effects:

 

Vaccines are very safe. As with all medicines, side effects can occur after getting a vaccine. These are usually very minor and of short duration, such as a sore arm or a mild fever. More serious side effects are possible, but very rare. Tests have been carried out in thousands of adults to ensure the vaccine is safe.

 

You can report any suspected side effects using the Yellow Card safety scheme: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

 

Passing Covid-19 on?

 

If you’ve had the vaccine but have symptoms or have been told to self-isolate you must still self-isolate.

 

The vaccine is safe and effective and will reduce your chance of becoming very ill from the virus.

 

Like all medicines, no vaccine is 100% effective. There is still a small chance you could catch COVID-19 even if you’ve had the vaccine. It will also take a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine.

 

Even if you’re vaccinated, you may still be able to pass the virus on to others who have not yet been vaccinated.

 

It is important that you continue to follow the rules to keep yourself and others safe.

 

Please continue to:

keep social contacts to a small

keep social distancing

wash your hands

wear your face covering where required

keep rooms ventilated

take a test and self-isolate if you have COVID-19 symptoms

self-isolate if you have been identified as a contact by Test, Trace, Protect