Covid: Wales' restrictions could return if cases don't fall within three weeks, First Minister warns

First Minister Mark Drakeford issued a stark warning as Wales coronavirus infection rate is at its highest level since estimates began on July 2020. Credit: The Welsh Government

Wales' First Minister has issued a stark warning as Covid restrictions could be reintroduced if cases do not drop within the next three weeks.

Rates of coronavirus in Wales are currently the highest in the UK.

New measures will be brought in to help reduce the high levels of coronavirus throughout the country.

What could change?

Covid passes will be extended to theatres, cinemas and concert halls from 15 November.

A Covid pass proves a person is double-vaccinated or has tested negative for Covid-19, within 48 hours of an event or attending a venue.

The Welsh Government said this could come into force because these are settings where large numbers of people gather indoors, close to each other, for long periods at a time.

The guidance around self-isolation could also change.

Adults who are fully vaccinated and children and young people aged five to 17 will be asked to self-isolate until they have received a negative PCR test if someone in their household has symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19.

Schools

Headteachers will be given extra support to quickly put measures in place in their schools if case rates are high locally.

Staff and secondary school students will also be encouraged to take twice-weekly lateral flow tests to help keep coronavirus out of schools.

People are being reminded to wear face coverings

Working from home is now being encouraged wherever possible and the Welsh Government is reminding the public of the legal requirement to wear a face-covering in indoor public spaces.

Retailers will also be urged to do everything they can to encourage customers to wear face coverings.

Action for booster vaccines

The four UK chief medical officers have asked the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation for urgent advice about reducing the interval between the second dose of the vaccine and the booster.

Could we see further restrictions in wales?

Wales is currently at Alert level Zero or 'Covid Stable' meaning that all businesses are open and Wales has the lowest level of restrictions.

If Ministers decide to move to 'Covid Urgent' it would mean Wales returns to the alert level system and more restrictions are set in Wales.

However, the Government said the plan, if triggered, would be "used proportionately, but as a last-resort".

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Over the past three weeks, coronavirus cases have risen sharply to the highest rates we have seen since the pandemic began and more people are falling so seriously ill that they need hospital treatment.

“All this means that the pandemic is far from over. We need to take more action now to strengthen the measures we have in place at alert level zero to prevent coronavirus spreading even further and more people falling seriously ill.

“We hope this action will help to turn the tide of this delta. None of us wants to see a return to restrictions but if rates continue to rise, the Cabinet will have no choice but to consider raising the alert level at the next review.

“Let’s all work together as a team to reduce the spread of coronavirus and keep Wales open and keep Wales safe.”


Wales coronavirus infection rate is at it's highest level since estimates began on July 2020, according to the latest figures with 2,664 new positive cases recorded Friday 29 October.

A further 12 deaths were also recorded, bringing the total number of people who have lost their lives because of coronavirus to 6,134.


Last week Wales' chief medical officer, Dr Frank Atherton said he was “disappointed” to see that many people seem to have stopped carrying out basic measures such as wearing masks and social distancing.

He added: “When you see people not using face coverings when it’s a legal requirement to do so, that worries me."