Experts at Public Health Wales are reminding the public that although the legal requirement to self-isolate when testing positive for Coronavirus has changed, the medical advice to do so has not.
Mirroring the situation across the UK, cases in Wales are at a high level throughout the country, in all areas and age groups.
The increase in cases is likely to be linked with increased mixing and the continuing easement of restrictions, and is to be expected as we move out of the pandemic, to COVID-19 being an endemic virus.
In addition, the BA2 sub-type of the Omicron variant is more transmissible and faster moving than the original, which is also driving the increase in cases as has been seen in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.
Dr Meng Khaw, National Director, Health Protection and Screening Services, said: “while we are currently seeing a high level of cases of Coronavirus in Wales, this is not translating into a rise in numbers of people needing ICU treatment – largely because of the high number of people who have been vaccinated.
“However, Coronavirus is still an unpleasant, highly infectious illness, and even though the legal requirement to self-isolate when testing positive has now lifted, I would remind everyone that the medical advice is still to isolate for at least five full days.
“In addition, wearing masks in crowded indoor areas, washing hands regularly, and ensuring adequate ventilation will help to prevent the transmission of the virus and protect more vulnerable people.
“Coronavirus has not gone away, and it is clear that the single best thing you can do to protect yourself and the people around you is to get vaccinated.
“If you develop a cough, fever or change in sense of taste or smell, the public health advice remains that you should self-isolate immediately in order to protect others, and get a Coronavirus test.”
Coronavirus testing is changing in Wales. Access to PCR tests for the general public will end this month. People with symptoms will be able to order lateral flow tests online or by calling 119. Regional and local testing sites managed by the UK Health Security Agency will close on 31 March.
Staff working at test centres and units have played an essential role in helping to keep Wales safe. They have made sure testing has been available 365 days of the year and have responded to unprecedented demand.