University students in Wales could be told to stay on campus over Christmas

The First Minister for Wales has said the Welsh Government would "contemplate" the possibility that university students should stay on campus over the Christmas period.

In minutes expected to be published by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), experts could warn that there is a risk students will spread the disease in their communities when they return home.

"We will certainly contemplate it", Mr Drakeford said.

"It is true as people move across the United Kingdom, then that increases the risk of the virus moving with them".

But, he said it "would not be sensible" to make a decision at the moment.

He said there will be a "number of opportunities" to decide whether the advice to keep university students on campus is "necessary advice".

Mr Drakeford told Good Morning Britain's Ben Shepherd and Susanna Reid that although the issue would be a devolved matter, making the decision alongside ministers in the rest of the UK would make "complete sense".

"The situation changes so rapidly every day so I don't think it would be sensible to make a decision today for December."

Pubs have to stop serving alcohol from 10pm on Thursday Credit: PA

He said the Welsh Government's decision to introduce a "softer" clearing out time for pubs - where they must stop serving alcohol from 10pm - was introduced because many businesses in Wales have a business model where "kicking people out on the pavement at 10pm" would be "difficult".

He said they will be relying on good management of pubs and bars to not allow people to take advantage of the situation.

The changes come into force from 6pm on Thursday.

He also said he "does not want to see a repeat" of what happened to exams in the summer, following a u-turn which saw students awarded teacher's assessed grades.

He said if next year's exams cannot go ahead, a decision will be made "as early as possible".

"We're looking to see whether it would be better to rely on coursework and teacher assessments or whether it is possible to run exams in a way which doesn't put staff and students at risk."

A report on the matter is due in October and an early decision will be made "so parents and students know what they will be facing".

He also defended the difference with some of the restrictions in the four nations and criticised the UK government's "sporadic" engagement with the devolved nations.

"I've argued for a long time for a pattern of reliable engagement between the four devolved administrations. It hasn't been reliable - it has been sporadic and at short notice.

"The more we talk together, although we have to make different decisions, the more we share information and the more we are able to coordinate.

"If we were talking more, we'd be in a better position to explain why we need to do things differently and get that across to people in a way which minimises confusion."