Chief Medical Officer for Wales statement on COVID-19 review: 26 May 2022.
The current wave of COVID-19 infection driven by the omicron variant continues to wane and the high level of vaccination in Wales is limiting the number of people who are experiencing serious direct harm as a consequence of continuing infections.
I agree that it is timely to remove our remaining legal requirement on the mandatory use of face coverings in health and care settings. However, I note that many hospitals in other UK nations are successfully promoting the continued use of face coverings and limiting visitor numbers in health care settings and I recommend that a similar approach is adopted in Wales.
Furthermore, I continue to anticipate future waves of COVID-19 infection and we should prepare our health and care system for the rigorous re-adoption of respiratory protections for staff and visitors if the public health situation deteriorates.
During the coming summer months I recommend that we continue to strengthen our surveillance systems and prepare/test our response arrangements in concert with other UK Nations. We should continue to plan for an autumn COVID-19 booster campaign aligned with flu vaccination.
Sir Frank Atherton