Decision on circuit-breaker lockdown in Wales yet to be made, insists Welsh Government

ITV Wales Political Editor, Adrian Masters, explains the likelihood of a circuit-break lockdown in Wales

Welsh Government insist no decision has been made on a circuit-breaker-style lockdown, despite speculation.

In a statement, Welsh Government said they are still "actively considering" a 'fire break' lockdown "but no decisions have been made".

It previously outlined that a short lockdown period may be a possibility as a way to try and bring down Covid-19 transmission rates across the country, saying there is a "growing consensus" a different set of measures and actions are needed to respond to the rising rates of coronavirus during winter.

Advice from the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) recommended a 'circuit-breaker' as an option more than three weeks ago.

It comes as Welsh Government look to introduce a travel ban on people coming to Wales from other parts of the UK considered high Covid-19 incidence areas. The new restrictions should be brought in by the end of the week.

Professor Graham Medley, a member of SAGE, previously said that a short, sharp lockdown would enable Test and Trace to improve and ease pressure on health services.

He told a webinar any circuit-breaker should ideally be timed with school holidays, "half-term or potentially over Christmas" in order to minimise disruption to education.

It is likely that any short national lockdown would not be to the same extent as was in place back in March, near the beginning of the pandemic.

Plaid Cymru support the idea of a circuit-breaker lockdown and said it should be brought in "without delay".

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said that people needed “clarity and certainty” in terms of what the next few weeks will bring.

"We need an urgent announcement from the First Minister confirming a circuit-breaker in Wales and outlining what exactly it will mean for people’s lives and livelihoods", he said.

"Regrettably, we must pull the emergency cord without delay. The time this buys us must be used to build up a resilient, Welsh-based test, trace, isolate and support system, with adequate financial security for businesses and individuals.

"Acting now is the only way of addressing a second wave and a prolonged period of lockdown."

17 areas of Wales are already under local lockdown restrictions, with Caerphilly County as the first region to face stricter measures. Credit: PA Images

However, the Welsh Conservative's health spokesperson implored Mark Drakeford to "think again".

Andrew RT Davies MS said: "The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences - from an economic and public health perspective - and should be the last resort.  

"Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.  

"This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories."