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Coronavirus information for Wales

All of Wales is in alert level zero

Help keep Wales safe :

  • Get both your jabs and booster
  • Outside is safer than inside
  • If you have symptons, whilst it's no longer legally required to self-isolate if you test positive, you're strongly advised to do so 
  • Wear a face covering in health and social care settings. There's no longer a legal requirement for you to wear a face covering in other indoor public places or on public transport.

Recent and upcoming changes

From 18 April 2022

  • face coverings remain a legal requirement in health and care settings.

From 9 May 2022

  • if the current public health situation remains stable, all remaining restrictions will be lifted.

COVID pass

Can I get a COVID pass?

You can get an NHS COVID pass if you're 12 or over and registered with a GP in Wales or England.

Where do I apply for a COVID pass?

You can access the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS website (nhs.uk). This will allow you to produce a COVID pass using a smart phone, tablet, computer or laptop.

To access the service, you’ll need to register for an NHS login. You'll need to upload a photo of your ID (passport, full UK driving licence, full European driving licence etc.). 

If you live in Wales, you cannot get the Pass via the NHS app as this is only valid in England. Once you've downloaded your NHS COVID Pass, the barcode will be valid for 30 days. This will update automatically every time you log into the service.

If you don't have photographic ID or a relevant smart device you'll need to request a paper NHS COVID certificate by calling 0300 303 5667 - this line is open seven days a week, between 9am and 5pm. Calls are charged between 2p and 40p per minute. However if you have a free call package, this will be including.

Self isolation (support scheme) payment

If you're on low-income and cannot work from home whilst self-isolating, you could get a payment of £500 to help with loss of earnings. You can only apply for the payment if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

To find out if you're eligible and how to apply, please visit the Welsh Government website

Coronavirus is a virus that affects your lungs and airways. Find out about the symptoms of coronavirus and the steps to take to stop it spreading.

What is coronavirus?

Novel Coronavirus, formally called COVID-19, is part of a family of viruses that include the common cold and respiratory illnesses such as SARS.

It affects your lungs and airways. For many people, it causes mild symptoms while for others it can be much more serious and require hospital treatment.

What are new variants of coronavirus?

All viruses can mutate and change over time. Sometimes these changes can effect the way a virus behaves, for example it can become more infectious and pass more easily from person to person.

Scientists in the UK and around the world have been tracking coronavirus strains as they have emerged over the last two years. When scientist have evidence that a particular strain may have changed in ways that make it more likely to cause infections, it's officially labelled a ‘Variant of Concern’. The most recent ‘Variant of Concern’ has been labelled Omicron.

How does coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus is very infectious, which means it spreads very easily.

It spreads in much the same way as the common cold or flu - through infected respiratory droplets like coughs and sneezes – and passes from person to person. This can happen when:

  • Droplets of the virus are ‘shed’ by an infected person when they breath, talk and sing. These droplets can build up in the air in enclosed spaces where other people breath them in
  • Someone gets close (less than 1-2 metres) to someone who is infectious
  • An infectious person gets the virus on their hands (for example by coughing in their hand) and then touches a commonly used surface, such as a door handle, which someone else then touches. 

This is why we're being advised to avoid close contact with others and avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Wearing a mask indoors, washing our hands thoroughly and frequently, and wiping down surfaces with disinfectant can also help reduce the spread of the virus.

The average ‘incubation period’ – the time between coming into contact with the virus and experiencing symptoms – is five days, but it could be anything between one and 14 days. This is why the Government is asking everyone who has come into contact with the virus to self-isolate.

People are most likely to spread the virus to other people when they are experiencing symptoms, which is why it is important to follow Welsh Government guidance on staying at home if you have symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been advised by the test and trace service to self-isolate.

However, don’t forget people can also be infectious before they know they are ill.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The most common symptoms include:

  • a persistent dry cough - where you have been coughing a lot for more than an hour or have had 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a high temperature - where you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a loss or changed sense of taste or smell.

Other symptoms people are reporting include:

  • shortness of breath
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked / runny nose
  • stomach discomfort and diarrhoea
  • confusion or delirium.

If you develop any coronavirus symptoms, you must self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible.

Can I get tested for coronavirus?

Before requesting a test you must have at least one of the following symptoms:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

Please visit the Welsh Government website for more information on who can get a test and how to apply.

Are some people more at risk from coronavirus?

While we're all at risk of catching coronavirus, for most people (around 4 in 5) the symptoms will only be mild to moderate.

However, we do know that some people are much more likely than others to become seriously unwell. This includes:

  • people aged over the 70, even if you're otherwise fit and well
  • people of any age living with long-term health conditions which mean you'd normally be offered the flu jab.

Government guidance also applies to these groups. However, you may also want to consider keeping your social interactions lower and visit busy places at quieter times. For example, some supermarkets have a designated hour of shopping for vulnerable customers.

At the start of the pandemic, some people were advised to shield because they were considered particularly high risk. The Welsh Government has issued new guidance on protecting people defined on medical grounds as clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19) – previously known as ‘shielding’, you can view the guidance on the Welsh Government website.

How can I reduce my risk of catching or spreading coronavirus?

The best way to reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus is by following the Government guidance which includes:

  • Washing your hands regularly – particularly when you get home after being out, before handling or eating food and after sneezing or blowing your nose
  • Keeping your distance from others
  • Avoiding busy places where possible
  • Wearing a face covering when you're supposed to
  • Self-isolating in line with current guidance if you or someone you've been in contact with develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus.

Welsh Government coronavirus (COVID-19) information

The Welsh Government has detailed information on their website, including guidance on a range of issues that have been affected by the current pandemic.

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