This page is specifically about guidance for people affected by diabetes living in Wales. We will continue to share relevant information provided by the Welsh Government, NHS Wales (GIG Cymru), Public Health Wales and others.
We have more information and advice about how coronavirus (Covid-19) can affect people with diabetes, including what to do if you become unwell and what self-isolating and shielding mean. This is being updated regularly with new information as it becomes available.
Updates from the Welsh Government
Those who are currently shielding
People who are currently shielding should continue to do so until the 16 August, when shielding will be paused in Wales. You should have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales with details about when shielding will come to an end.
Another letter will be sent to all people who are shielding in Wales prior to the 16 August. This letter will outline a number of practical measures individuals can take to continue to reduce their risk. You can view this letter online here.
What happens next?
After the week beginning the 16 August, the delivery of food boxes will come to an end. However, you will still be able to book priority delivery slots with supermarkets. The prescription delivery service will continue until the end of September.
If you still need support accessing food after the 16 August and you do not have anyone to help you, speak with your local council.
Those who are at “increased risk” or “clinically vulnerable”
People with diabetes who are not shielding are still at “increased risk” or “clinically vulnerable” to coronavirus. People in this category have been advised to take additional care in following the existing guidance for the general public.
However, thanks to your help in asking for better guidance, Welsh government are currently developing practical guidance for those who are at “increased risk” or “clinically vulnerable” which will be updated over time.
Can I visit family and friends?
The Welsh government are still asking people to “stay local” as much as possible to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but the 5 mile rule no longer applies.
However, people in Wales are able to meet with any number of people from no more than one other household at a time as long as they are outside and maintain social distancing.
As of 6 July, two households will be able to join together to form an “extended household”. In effect the people in the two households become part of a single household and enjoy the same legal freedoms a household has – they will be able to meet indoors and have physical contact. They can also stay in each other’s homes. However, we strongly advise people who are shielding to take particular precautions.
The key rules are that:
- No person can be part of more than one extended household, with the exception of children who live in two homes (for example because their parents have separated and have joint custody)
- All individuals in one home must belong to the same extended household
- All of the adult members of each household must agree to join the same extended household
- Once you have agreed and joined an extended household, you cannot change this arrangement.
You must maintain social distancing when out and about, and only travel where necessary. You can find out more about the plan to ease restrictions in the Welsh government's framework for recovery.
Should I go back to work?
Current advice in Wales is that if you can work from home you should continue to do so.
The Welsh government have recently updated regulations for employees and employers during coronavirus. These regulations give employers additional obligations to ensure that your workplace is safe, including the 2m rule which must be adhered to at all times.
Welsh Government have also confirmed to us that they expect employers to take individuals’ health conditions into consideration when undertaking the risk assessments require to reopen.
However, many people in Wales have told us they are still unsure of what to do if they cannot work from home, but are told to go back to work. You should only go back to work where it is safe to do so, and in keeping with government guidance. If you are unsure about your level of risk and what is safe for you to do, then you should talk to your local GP.
The Welsh government has now produced more detailed guidance which outlines the measures employers and employees should be taking to reduce risks in different types of workplace. Depending on the sort of place in which you usually work, there may be specific guidance for you and your employer. We recommend people look for information that is relevant to them on the Welsh Government website.
The Welsh Government has said that those who are unable to work from home can now return to their place of work, however those who are shielding can only return to work from the 16 August 2020.
We realise that there may be people living with diabetes who do not feel comfortable returning to work yet. For some, exposure to coronavirus still comes with a very high risk. That is why we are campaigning with several other charities including Age UK, Kidney Care UK to extend the option of furlough for workers in the clinically vulnerable and shielding groups.
Together, we have started a petition to the UK government asking for an extension to furlough for workers, who along with their employer, do not feel they would be safe returning to the workplace.
My workplace isn’t adhering to the rules, who should I tell?
It is important that those who are unable to work from home are able to return to safe working environments.
Those seeking further advice are recommended to contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, also known as ACAS. ACAS have a dedicated coronavirus webpage, or you can contact them on 0300 123 1100.
The Wales TUC have also launched an online Whistleblowing hotline for any worker who may wish to report coronavirus related health and safety concerns. This service is available to anyone, regardless or not of whether they are a member of a trade union.
Will schools reopen as normal after the summer holidays?
Schools in Wales reopened to pupils from Monday 29 June. The term was also extended, meaning the summer holidays didn’t start in most schools until the 29 July. To make up for this an extra week’s holiday will be added to the autumn half term. Schools should reopen after the summer holidays at the normal time.
When schools reopen some digital education provision may continue.
Further Education colleges were advised to take appropriate measures in order to allow face-to-face learning from 15 June, and were advised to prioritise those students requiring licence to practice assessments and vulnerable learners.
For more information, read the latest statement from the Welsh Minister for Education.
Updates from Public Health Wales
Public Health Wales has published the Welsh Government’s guidance on self-isolation.
Updates from NHS Wales
Many routine screening appointments, including foot appointments and retinopathy (eye) screening, have been paused while NHS Wales focuses all its resources on fighting coronavirus. So it is important to be extra vigilant in taking care of yourself at home, be aware of any new symptoms and contact your healthcare team if you have any concerns.
Looking after yourself
We have lots of information to help you look after your diabetes yourself, depending on who you are and what type of diabetes you have:
- If you're at risk of developing type 2 diabetes - take a look at our guide to reducing your risk. You can also watch these videos on prediabetes.
- For people with type 1 diabetes - watch our video explaining type 1 diabetes, and log in to our Learning Zone to find tailored courses to help you learn about your type 1.
- If you have type 2 diabetes - find out what type 2 diabetes means, and get personalised videos and interactive courses in our Learning Zone to help you learn things like what to eat. You can also watch these videos about type 2 in different languages.
- Women living with gestational diabetes - find out what causes gestational diabetes and how to manage it. You can also watch these videos on coping with gestational diabetes.
- How to look after your feet - this is important for everyone, no matter what type of diabetes you have. Find out how to prevent foot problems with this video showing how to check your feet.
Support for your mental health
If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, you're not alone. We've got lots of guidance on how to cope with certain emotions and how things like stress can affect your blood sugar levels.
You can always contact us directly here in Wales too.