Government considers changes to Covid restrictions as cases continue to rise
First Minister Mark Drakeford says a decision will be made over the next seven days on possible changes to Covid restrictions but claimed “there is nothing inevitable” about an October lockdown.
Speaking at today’s Government press briefing Mr Drakeford highlighted concern over the rise in Covid cases since Wales entered alert level zero six weeks ago, with case rates now standing at 522 per 100,000 people, the highest since December last year when the last lockdown was introduced.
“If the virus continues to spread at its current rate, we can expect to see around 3,200 cases confirmed every day as this wave peaks towards the end of the month,” Mr Drakeford said.
“Until now, this rise has been manageable, because our fantastic vaccination programme has helped to weaken the link between infection and serious illness.
But with the rapid spread of coronavirus in our communities, pandemic pressure on the NHS is increasing once again.”
Mr Drakeford confirmed there are about 40 hospital admissions every day, with just over 420 confirmed cases in hospitals across Wales – the highest since March and added that modelling suggests “there could be 100 new Covid-19 hospital admissions every day” as the Delta wave peaks.
He also confirmed ministers will make a decision next week about the introduction of vaccine passport to gain entry to some events in Wales.
The Scottish Government is introducing vaccine passports for nightclubs and other large events from 1 October, while in England people will need to have a Covid pass confirming their vaccine status to access “higher-risk” events.
“There are a number of practical and ethical issues that need to be considered in relation to vaccine certification, and we continue to work through those,” he said.
“We will not do that in any setting where people have no choice but to go, so there will be no vaccine passports for people who need to go to use crucial public services.”
But, he said, if people were choosing to attend events where being fully jabbed would make the event safer “it wouldn’t be responsible of the cabinet not to look at the case for doing so”.