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Extra £682m to support Wales’ response to pandemic in coming months, Drakeford announces

01 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

An extra £682m will go towards boosting Wales response from Covid-19, Mark Drakeford has announced.

The money will be chiefly targeted at the NHS and councils to boost vaccinations, contact tracing and testing, he said.

“This includes more than £635m for the NHS and our local authority partners to help them, continue to help us over the next six months,” he said.

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans will reveal further details when she reveals the Welsh Government’s final Budget tomorrow.

He echoed St. David when he said that Wales had “done the small things” and should “be joyful” that things were now improving.

‘Carefully’

He added that he hoped to be able to stand up on Friday next week and talk about possible room for lockdown restrictions.

He also suggested that although he would stick to a three-week cycle on reopening but might be more flexible in the future.

“I’m not happy to throw away any of the gains we’ve made,” he said. “I understand why people are going outside but it’s important to do so in a way that sticks to the rules.”

He said that the Prime Minister should think “very carefully” before re-opening any limitations on international travel in case new variations of the virus are brought in.

“I don’t think it’s a very careful thing for Boris Johnson to say that we will be able to travel in May,” he said.

“I don’t want to see us losing everything we’ve done here because people are coming in from other countries with the virus.”

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