Drakeford confirms restrictions will stay in place in Wales – despite Omicron not being ‘as severe as feared’
The First Minister has confirmed that current restrictions will stay in place in Wales for at least another week, despite the Omicron variant not being “as severe as feared”.
The confirmation that the restrictions introduced on Boxing Day will continue comes despite political pressure from the Conservatives to roll them back, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided not to increase restrictions in England.
Mark Drakeford said that the Omicron wave meant that “we are all facing a difficult month ahead of us”.
“We are already seeing extremely high case rates in communities and we must be prepared for cases to rise even higher, just as they have elsewhere in the UK,” he said.
“This variant may not be as severe as we had initially feared but the speed at which it is travelling and its infectiousness continue to be cause for concern.
“That makes it vital that we all take action to keep each other safe. The things which have helped to protect us all throughout the pandemic will continue to protect us now.
“This includes getting vaccinated and making your booster a priority, limiting the number of people you meet who you don’t live with, and taking a lateral flow test before going out and mixing with others.
“Together, we will keep each other safe and we will keep Wales safe.”
Mark Drakeford has asked people to keep taking steps to protect each other and keep Wales safe from the wave of omicron cases, following the outcome of the latest regulations review.
Cases of coronavirus have risen sharply to their highest ever levels in the post-Christmas period. The latest figures show there are more than 2,200 cases per 100,000 people in Wales.
At alert level 2 people must:
- Wear a face covering (unless there is a reasonable excuse not to wear one) in all indoor public places, including when not seated in a pub, café or restaurant.
- Meet no more than five other people at a café, restaurant, pub or other public premises (unless with their household of a larger number). This applies to both outdoor and indoor areas of the premises.
- Work from home if they can.
- Self-isolate for seven days if they test positive for Covid-19. People should take a lateral flow test on day six and day seven. If either test is positive they should remain in isolation until two negative lateral flow tests or after day 10, whichever is sooner.
- Not take part in an organised event indoors of more than 30 people or outdoors for more than 50 people. All organised events must be organised by a responsible body and have a risk assessment.
People are also being encouraged to follow strengthened guidance to help them stay safe at home, this includes limiting the number of people they meet who they don’t live with, to flow before you go by taking a lateral flow test before going out, meeting people outdoors wherever possible and making sure indoor spaces are well ventilated.