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Final decision Monday morning on two-week lockdown, Welsh Government says

18 Oct 2020 3 minute read
First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture from a Welsh Government video.

A final decision will be made Monday morning regarding the possibility of a two-week ‘firebreak’ lockdown, the Welsh Government has said.

The Welsh Cabinet met on Sunday evening to discuss the latest advice from scientists and public health experts about what measures would be put in place, they said.

A leaked letter published yesterday suggested that Wales would go into a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown between 6pm next Friday and midnight on Sunday 8 November.

The final decision is expected to be announced tomorrow afternoon.

“The measures we have put in place at both a local and a national level, with help from the people of Wales, have kept the spread of Covid-19 under check,” a Welsh Government source said.

“However, there is a growing consensus we now need to introduce a different set of measures and actions to respond to the virus as it continues to spread across Wales more quickly during the autumn and winter months ahead.

“Ministers have held a number of meetings over the weekend with senior Welsh Government officials, scientists and public health experts to consider their advice on a potential need for a ‘fire break’ set of measures to control the virus.

“The Welsh Cabinet met this evening to consider that advice. The Cabinet will meet again tomorrow morning to make a final decision. The First Minister will update the people of Wales on any decisions taken tomorrow.”


‘Short and sharp’

On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said a “short, sharp” circuit-breaker could slow down the virus.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continued with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said. “A ‘fire-break’ would also mean a short, sharp shock to all our lives.

“We would all have to stay at home to once again save lives. But this time it would be for weeks not months.”

He added that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he said.

“Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”

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