Record number of new coronavirus cases reported in Wales for second time this week

Cases have been rising across the country and a short, national lockdown is being considered by Welsh Government in response. Credit: PA Images

Wales has again reported a record number of new coronavirus cases within a 24-hour period, Public Health Wales has confirmed.

There were 979 new cases confirmed today, beating Wednesday's record of 946.

Five deaths from the virus were also reported today.

It comes as the Welsh First Minister told a press conference on Friday that coronavirus has "woken up" for the winter and is now widely circulating across the country.

A circuit-break is the option being most "actively considered" by Welsh Government as a way to try and bring down Covid-19 transmission. Mr Drakeford said discussions were ongoing and he would announce on Monday whether a short, national lockdown period would be imposed.

Areas with the highest percentage of positive tests returned today:

Bridgend - 22.6%

Rhondda Cynon Taf - 20.5%

Swansea - 19.8%

Blaenau Gwent - 19%

Cardiff - 18.1%

Dr Chris Williams, at Public Health Wales, said: "Cases of coronavirus continue to rise in all parts of Wales, including in areas where local restrictions are in place."

In his press conference on Friday, the First Minister addressed the fact that numbers are still rising in places already under tougher restrictions. Mark Drakeford said that this does not show that the measures are failing but indicates that the situation would have been far worse had local lockdowns not been in place.

In a statement, Public Health Wales also said it had noted "an increase in transmission of the coronavirus in social settings". They issued a reminder to people not to mix with other households indoors and to stay two-metres apart from others when in a social setting.

A travel ban is due to come into force at 6pm this evening. Under the rule people living in tier two or tier three areas of England, the central belt of Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland cannot enter Wales. However people living in these areas will still be allowed to travel into Wales for work.