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First Minister reveals ‘Covid Urgent’ plan and says restrictions could return this winter

07 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government

Restrictions could return this winter under a planning scenario called ‘Covid Urgent’, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford will tomorrow publish new plans to help keep Wales “open and safe” during autumn and winter.

‘Covid Urgent’ is a plan to deal with the emergence of a new, fast-spreading variant or a fall in immunity levels, both of which could cause a rise in pandemic pressures which risk overwhelming the NHS.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s press conference, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are facing a challenging winter ahead – coronavirus hasn’t gone away and flu is forecast to return this winter.

“Vaccination is the best defence we have against coronavirus – the more people who are fully vaccinated, the better our chances of controlling the spread of this awful virus.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on increasing take up of the Covid-19 vaccine across the age and priority groups and rolling out the booster vaccine too. We also encourage everyone who is eligible, to have their flu jab this year.”

Scenarios

The Welsh Government is publishing an updated Coronavirus Control Plan, which outlines the key actions, which could be put in place to control the spread of the virus.

The plan sets out two planning scenarios for the pandemic over the winter – in the first, called Covid Stable, Wales remains at alert level zero through the autumn and winter, with all businesses able to open.

This is thought to be the most likely scenario for the future, as we become used to living with coronavirus and we gradually move out of the pandemic to a position where the virus becomes a seasonal illness.

Under this scenario, if case rates fall, measures could be relaxed further in response, and if they rise, some existing measures could be strengthened to protect people’s health.

Under the second planning scenario, called Covid Urgent, the alert level system and restrictions would be used proportionately, but as a last-resort means to protect people’s health, control the spread of infections and to protect the NHS.

Wales will remain at alert level zero for at least the next three weeks, following the latest review of the coronavirus regulations. This means all businesses are open and Wales has the lowest level of restrictions.

‘Safe’

As well as the vaccine Mark Drakeford said that there were a range of other measures people could take to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Help keep Wales safe:

  • Get your Covid-19 vaccines, including your booster when invited
  • Get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms
  • Outdoors is safer than indoors
  • Keep your distance when you can
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering in indoor public places
  • Keep indoor places well-ventilated
  • Work from home whenever possible
  • Use a Covid Pass in nightclubs and large events.

“These measures have helped keep us safe throughout the pandemic and they will also help to protect us from other winter viruses, such as flu and other respiratory infections,” Mark Drakeford said.

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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
15 days ago

Da iawn Drakes. Planning ahead. Could do withmore of that in Westminster!!

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
14 days ago

Keep on with the fear..dont mention you are more likely to die of a heart attack,stroke,smoking,flu,and cancer, than covid.We are nearly all jabbed and yesterday 0.06 % of the Welsh population were positive.
Over the border when talking to people about Wales words like..draconian, extreme, suppressed, and brainwashed are mentioned. Time to move on and live our lives.

Mike Heffernan
Mike Heffernan
14 days ago

I have just finished watching this weeks’ “First Minister’s Questions” on “catch up” and would like to know why…..if the wearing of face coverings is still a legal requirement in public buildings….was nobody )and I mean nobody) in the Senedd Chamber wearing one ?????

Jack
Jack
14 days ago

Whilst I appreciate he’s looking forward and making plans for a potential health crisis, it would be nice if he could provide some more details sooner rather than later.

One of the main problems the Welsh government has is that they leave everyone guessing until the day of the announcement. Can make it very difficult to do any kind of forward planning.

Anthony
Anthony
14 days ago

This Labour Party is leading Wales to extreme communism!
All so called “measurements “ are just the excuse for grabbing more power to control Everything and Everyone! People wake up!

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