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  1. ITV Report

Welsh Government confirms coronavirus lockdown extension beyond Easter bank holiday

The Welsh Government has confirmed restrictions on public movement, working and leisure will continue for longer than originally planned because of coronavirus.

Housing Minister Julie James AM told the daily briefing on Wednesday that the lockdown would "definitely be extended" beyond the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Late on Wednesday, the First Minister Mark Drakeford told AMs via video conference that the lockdown would continue, because of the lag between measures to control the virus, and the effect they have on its spread.

The three weeks of stay-at- home restrictions provided for in legislation, and which we have all faced, are due to end next week. I must be plain with all Members, these restrictions will not end then.

The efforts we are all making are not yet over. They will not be over next week. Before the restrictions can begin to be lifted, and the return to normality begins there is more for us all to do.

I thank every one of those thousands and thousands of people in Wales who make their contribution every day and who will go on doing so over the days ahead.

– First Minister Mark Drakeford AM speech to AMs

Julie James told the daily briefing people should not make plans for next week as the lockdown will continue into another week.

In comes in the week that Wales became the first nation in the UK to enact legislation that makes it illegal for employers not to sure their staff work at least two metres apart from each other.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said employers "must put the needs of their workforce first, that their health and wellbeing must be top of their agenda, and the two-metre rule is there to protect that".

On Wednesday, Julie James AM said: "We are definitely extending the lockdown, it will not be raised next week".

Asked by ITV Wales for how long the lockdown would now last, the Housing Minister said the First Minister would make a formal announcement later but that it will definitely continue throughout next week.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Vaughan Gething confirmed that three more coronavirus testing centres will be built around Walesin the next seven to ten days to tackle the pandemic.

One has already been erected at Cardiff City Stadium with three more in Newport, west Wales and north Wales.

Elsewhere, soldiers have partnered up with ambulance teams to help bolster the NHS' emergency response during the coronavirus pandemic.

Servicemen from several British Army units have been loaned to the ambulance service in Wales to accompany paramedics out on calls, ahead of an anticipated surge in demand on staff whose numbers have already been depleted by self-isolation.

Julie James AM also addressed concerns that the most vulnerable in Wales are not able to get food deliveries as quickly and of the sort they would like.

She encouraged people who are able to ask friends or relatives to do their shopping for them, to do that rather than asking the Welsh Government for help.

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