Mark Drakeford has said that reopening schools will be the first priority when they review the current lockdown restrictions next week.
The seven day rolling average of cases in Wales has returned to early-December levels, but the time lag in deaths means that there were 67 reported today.
The First Minister warned however that “there will be marginal headroom next week to lift some of the current restrictions”.
“For all these reasons, we will take a cautious and gradual approach towards relaxing the restrictions,” he said.
“Our first priority will be to get children and young people back into schools and colleges when we have enough headroom to do so.
“We are always wanting to restore freedoms but we have to do it in a way that is safe.
“We have to do it in a way that is in line with the advice our chief medical officer will give us.
“Things are improving… for the first time today, there were fewer than 1,000 new infections. However, despite this encouraging trend figures do remain high and I’m afraid that there will be marginal headroom at best for easing some of the current restrictions next week.
“The uncertainties are very real. The new dangers emerging mean it is impossible for me today to predict the future.”