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‘Don’t expect to return to foreign holidays anytime soon’ Health Minister says

22 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Vaughan Gething. Picture by the Welsh Government.

The Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said that he doesn’t expect to see a return to foreign holidays any time soon.

He warned of a “new normal” that would see some Covid-19 restrictions remain in place for at least the rest of the year.

But he hoped that people would be able to enjoy the hospitality and tourism industry in Wales this year.

A rise in cases on mainland Europe and slower vaccination meant that that the picture was different here in the UK and elsewhere, he said.

“The new normal may not be where we were 18 months ago,” he said, speaking at his last Welsh Government press conference before the 6 May election.

“We’re Unlikely to see an easing of all restrictions. That is the view of all the scientific advisors across the UK, including the SAGE group of scientific advisors.

“I don’t expect to return to foreign travel and holidays anytime soon. We need to think about what we’re doing here and what is going on across the world.”

He said that he expected to see a Covid vaccine booster programme later in the year and that he “needed to level” with the public that some were restrictions were likely throughout the year.

He said that last Summer most restrictions were eased and people were able to do most things.

‘Remarkable’

Vaughan Gething began his press conference by announcing that over half the adult population in Wales had received at least one vaccine dose.

“I want to start by saying a few words about vaccination,” he said. “Thanks to the hard work of our incredible teams of vaccinators across Wales, we have had another fantastic weekend.

“I’m very pleased to be able to tell you, more than 50% of the adult population in Wales has now had their first dose of the vaccine.

“This really is remarkable in less than four months since the start of the programme.

“And almost 350,000 people have completed the full two-dose course.”

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