Letter reveals what a circuit-breaker lockdown might look like in Wales

A letter from a transport lobbying group to its members has revealed what a circuit-breaker lockdown might look like in Wales.

It comes as Welsh Government ministers continue to weigh up different options to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The letter from the Confederation of Passenger Transport's Wales Director John Pockett claims a circuit-breaker lockdown could begin from 6pm on Friday 23 October and last until Monday 9th November.

ITV News understands this is just one of a range of options being considered by the First Minister. The Welsh Government has reiterated today that no decision has been made.

A spokesperson from the CPT has confirmed the letter, which claims Wales will go into lockdown for 16 days, was sent out to members on Friday 16 October.

John Pockett admits in his letter that details are still to be confirmed by the Welsh Government but conversations he has had with officials suggest that Wales will return to a Spring-style lockdown with all but essential shops closed. A spokesperson for CPT explained that Mr Pockett intended to help their members, which include bus and coach operators, to prepare.

The letter dated 16 October, and directed to members, reads: "The Welsh Government will announce on Monday a 'circuit break' lockdown to being at 1800 on Friday 23 October and continue until 0001 on Monday 9 November."

It continues: "We have met with officials this morning, but as this is a very fast moving situation with decisions still to be made by ministers, much of the detail has not yet been agreed by the Government. Nevertheless, I wanted to let you tell you what we know so far."

Credit: Bubble.Wales

The letter was initially obtained by political website Bubble.Wales.

The letter suggests that non-essential shops would be closed but that ministers are yet to decide on how schools would be affected.

Credit: Bubble.Wales

The letter also suggests that public transport will be limited to "essential journeys only" but the Government has not yet decided what services are likely to run during the lockdown.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The measures we have put in place at both a local and a national level, with help from the public, have kept the spread of the virus under check.

“However, there is a growing consensus that we now need to introduce a different set of measures and actions to respond to the virus as it is spreading across Wales more quickly through the autumn and winter.

“We are actively considering advice from SAGE and our TAC Group. A ‘fire break’ set of measures to control Covid-19, similar to that described in the SAGE papers, is under consideration in Wales.

“As the First Minister set out in his press conference on Friday, we have discussed this advice with stakeholders and partners. But no decisions have been made.”

The conservatives are criticising what they say is proof the Welsh Government has already decided on a circuit breaker

Shadow Health Minister Andrew RT Davies said: “The First Minister knew about this yesterday, and while we all suspected this was going to happen, there was no point in delaying it being announced.

 “Instead, he chose to bypass the Welsh Parliament and Members not of his party, and first brief outside organisations about it. It shows incredible disrespect to the institution of the Welsh Parliament, the voters, and it demonstrates the downright and breath-taking arrogance we have come to expect from the First Minister and the Labour Party.

 “Worse, they have actually misled the public and Members of the Welsh Parliament by saying yesterday that ‘no decisions had yet been taken’, when clearly they had.

 “Labour’s contempt for democracy and the Welsh electorate is staggering, and I have written to the Llywydd to express our grave concerns over the First Minister’s actions.”