WALES’ Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, says “People should take the threat of socialising indoors with others at Christmas seriously”
Her comments come as the Welsh Government reacts to the growing concern over the new Omicron variant.
However, she has said it is too early to say if there will be festive restrictions.
Everyone who is in contact with an Omicron case will need to isolate for 10 days, regardless of whether they have received their vaccinations.
The chairwoman of the vaccination board, Dr Gill Richardson, said the roll out would be challenging and would need a “call to arms” among the workforce.
In response to the variant, the Welsh government is expanding the booster programme to all adults with a shorter interval after the second jab from six months to just three.
During Christmas 2020, only two households were allowed to meet on Christmas Day, in the middle of the Delta wave.
During a press conference, Ms Morgan said: “too early to say yet what the Covid situation is likely to be as we enter the Christmas period”.
She encouraged “people to act with caution over the Christmas period and to take very seriously the situation and the threat, indeed, of mixing with other people indoors during this time”.
“It is something that we need to take seriously.
“Omicron has not yet arrived in Wales, but it is simply a question of time before it does.”
Wales’ self isolation rules have been updated over concerns of the new Omricon Covid variant.
Any individual in Wales who is identified as a close contact of a confirmed or probable case of the Omicron variant in Wales will need to isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status or age.
The new isolation rules will also apply to people under the age of 6.
Wales’ health minister Eluned Morgan confirmed the new rules after describing the spread of the new variant as “worrying”.
Currently, 14 cases have now been confirmed in the UK although none had yet been found in Wales.
The Health Minister said in a coronavirus briefing today:
“To help keep Wales – and people in Wales – safe and slow the spread of this new variant, we have put in place a series of measures over the last few days.
“The main focus of these have been international travel. In line with action taken in the rest of UK, we have placed 10 southern African countries on the red list for international travel.
“This means anyone travelling back to Wales from these countries will have to complete 10 days of quarantine, in a managed quarantine hotel.
“There can be no exceptions to this rule.”
The new isolation rules will only apply to a close contact or probable case of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.