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Three weeks to get Covid under control or restrictions will be reintroduced

Cases increasing: Drakeford stays cautious

In response to the recent spike in Covid rates in Wales, the First Minister Mark Drakeford issued a stark warning.Covid restrictions could be reintroduced in Wales in three weeks if cases do not drop.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has issued a stark warning as the latest review of Wales’ Covid rules takes place.

His cabinet met on Thursday to finalise rule changes.

The changes coming into force are:

• Changes to the rules around self-isolation. 

• You’ll need a Covid Pass in theatres and cinemas. 

• Headteachers will be helped to introduce measures if case rates are high locally.

• Shops have been encouraged to get people to stick to the rules to wear masks.

• Businesses will be encouraged to resume working from home.

If these measures do not see a significant drop in rates, then Welsh Government will look to reimpose restrictions.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Over the past three weeks, coronavirus cases have risen sharply to the highest rates we have seen since the pandemic began and more people are falling so seriously ill that they need hospital treatment.

“All this means that the pandemic is far from over. We need to take more action now to strengthen the measures we have in place at alert level zero to prevent coronavirus spreading even further and more people falling seriously ill.

“We hope this action will help to turn the tide of this delta. None of us wants to see a return to restrictions but if rates continue to rise, the cabinet will have no choice but to consider raising the alert level at the next review.

“Let’s all work together as a team to reduce the spread of coronavirus and keep Wales open and keep Wales safe.”

Currently, Wales is in Alert Level 0 or Covid Stable. Businesses are not restricted in this respect, but the law in Wales requires masks to be worn everywhere indoors except in hospitality venues. 

In the event of “Covid Urgent,” Wales would return to the alert level system and restrictions, though the First Minister will say they would only be used “proportionately” and as a “last resort.”.

WalesOnline understands no decision has yet been made about what type of restrictions will be introduced if no progress is made in the next three weeks.

The latest figures for Wales, released on Thursday, showed another 12 people in Wales have died with coronavirus.