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Call for emergency Senedd recall over new Covid strain as PM cans Christmas plans

19 Dec 2020 2 minute read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) in yesterday’s speech broadcast on BBC One. Mark Drakeford (right), picture by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Conservatives have called for an emergency recall of the Senedd in Christmas week due to a new strain of Covid which appears to be spreading much quicker.

The new Covid-19 strain is particularly virulent in the south-east of Wales and the south-east of England.

An announcement is expected for Wales this evening. The Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council suggested that “information that will be made available this evening” after a meeting with ministers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier confirmed the 5-day bubble across England now reduced to just Christmas Day, and people couldn’t travel into Tier 4 areas in much of London and South East England at all.

Support bubbles remain unaffected as do the exemptions for separated parents and their children.

Wales’ Christmas was already restriction to two households but has not yet announced what impact the new Covid strain will have.

The UK Government’s map of the new Covid-19 strain

First Minister Mark Drakeford held emergency talks this afternoon to discuss “serious concerns” over the spread of a new strain of Covid-19.

“I attended a four-nation call earlier today to discuss serious concerns over the spread of a new Covid variant,” Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said earlier.

Welsh Conservative Health Spokesperson Andrew RT Davies responded with a call for an “emergency recall of the Senedd next week”.

This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new strain spread quicker and that people in Tier 4 areas of England could not meet on Christmas day.

“It may be up to 70% more transmissible than the old variant,” he says, adding that it’s early data and subject to review.

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