CONCERNS have been raised about the shielding groups and how some vulnerable people have not been asked to shield.

Shielding was brought in last March to protect the extremely, clinically vulnerable people from the risks of Covid-19.

However, this was lifted after the first national lockdown and was not brought back in in Wales until December.

Ministers previously said they had to weigh up the risks of shielding, such as mental health and loneliness, to the benefits of protecting them against coronavirus.

The Leader previously reported that this was brought in last month and those deemed clinically vulnerable were once again asked to stay at home and not attend school or work.

At the Welsh Government press conference on January 13, Dr Frank Atherton and Dr Andrew Goodall were asked about how the lists are drawn up.

This was in response to concerns over those vulnerable people who are not on the list, but are that vulnerable they will not leave their house unless absolutely essential.

Dr Atherton said shielding is one they have ‘thought about a lot’ and in terms of criteria, lists were drawn up on a four nation basis, thinking about who the most vulnerable were.

He said ‘everyone is vulnerable to some degree’, but some more so and it was a list of ‘significant other health issues’, that led to definition.

Mr Atherton said he did recognise this is an ‘imprecise science’ and is ‘hard to capture everyone’ but there has always been license for health care professionals to add others to their list.

He said those who have been asked to shield should not go to work or to school for the time being and there will be further communication soon.

But he added that everyone needs to think ‘long and hard’ about what they do as they should not be mixing at all.

People not on the shielding list should follow the general rules but if there is a specific concern, they can discuss this with healthcare professionals.