Wales' First Minister reveals he is living in a garden hut to protect his shielding wife

Credit: Welsh Government

The First Minister of Wales has revealed he has been isolating in a hut at the bottom of his garden during lockdown in order to protect his shielding wife and mother-in-law.

In an interview with Heart South Wales radio, Mark Drakeford said he will "remain cautious" when shielding ends in Wales next month.

Mr Drakeford said his wife and mother-in-law have been shielding because of their health conditions. He said: "The nature of my job is that I am out meeting people all the time and undoubtedly, I am a risk to them."

The First Minister described the hut as "very miniature". He said the family did not build it because of coronavirus but they have never used it in this way before.

Mark Drakeford said: "There's not much of it but it does luckily have enough in terms of facilities in order to get by in."

Shielding in Wales ends on 16th August. Mr Drakeford said he will continue to be "careful and cautious" after this date and plans to spend more time with his family outdoors than indoors.

Although the number of coronavirus cases in Wales has dropped significantly since the peak in April, Mr Drakeford said the risk of a second wave is "absolutely real".

He said: "We’re seeing it in Spain, we’re seeing numbers up in Germany. We’re seeingnumbers up in France, let alone what we’re seeing in other parts of the world andwe’re absolutely not immune to that here in Wales. It’s so important that people goon doing the right thing. Keeping a social distance. Washing your hands. All thethings we know."

If there are spikes in Covid-19 cases, Mr Drakeford said he would look to deal with them on a local basis, rather than having to have a national return to restrictions.

The First Minister said it is "worth thinking about having a holiday in Wales" like he plans to do, rather than travelling abroad and potentially being asked to quarantine on return.

Despite this advice, Mr Drakeford said he would have been "very distressed" to see scenes like those on the beach in Bournemouth, if they were happening in Wales. He said this is one of the reasons why the Welsh Government's approach has been "to do things one step at a time".

He added: "It may take us a bit longer, but you may remember the fable of the tortoise and hare. Sometimes you can get to the right destination quicker by doing things a bit more carefully."