Covid: Health Minister Eluned Morgan urges caution at Christmas parties to limit virus spread

Wales' Health Minister has stressed that people need to exercise caution around having Christmas parties.

Eluned Morgan stopped short of saying the Welsh government would cancel them but has advised people to take a lateral flow test if they are at large-indoor gatherings, especially if there are elderly people there.

She also said the Welsh Government has not ruled-out extending Covid-passes further if cases continue to rise, but says the capacity needs to be in place to deal with more restrictions.

It comes as the First Minister said extending passes could be made at the 'last minute.' A 21-day review of the current restrictions is set to be announced by the Welsh Government on Friday.

On whether schools will be disrupted if cases continue to rise in Wales, the Health Minister has said every week children miss school "is extremely damaging for them" and every effort will be to keep them in the classroom, but it will be a decision for the Education Minister.

Ms Morgan has also said it is "highly unlikely" that mandatory vaccination will be introduced in the country, as concerns grow over the presence of the Omicron variant.

Ms Morgan urged the 12% of people in Wales who have not been double jabbed to take up the offer, as they risk taking "up room in our hospitals at a time when the NHS is under immense pressure."

She has said people need to think not just about themselves but about their responsibility for the wider community.

As the more transmittable Omicron variant of coronavirus spreads across the globe, the Health Minister has said that a cautious approach is needed in Wales.

"We've only got one case of Omicron that we know of, but obviously that is going to increase I would think significantly in the next few weeks."

"The issue at the moment is that we're still learning about this variant, we know that it does probably spread more rapidly than the Delta variant and that moved pretty quickly.

"What we're not sure about yet is how it impacts us health-wise in particular if you've been double-jabbed. We are learning in real-time more about the virus as the days go on."

Read more:

Watch more of the interview with the Health Minister on tonight's Sharp End at 11.10pm on ITV Wales.