‘People’s behaviour more important than the rules,’ Drakeford says

Mark Drakeford the First Minister of Wales. Picture by the Welsh Government

People changing their behaviour is more important in driving down coronavirus infection rates rather than the Welsh Government’s exact rules, the First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford will today outline details of the new measures to come into force when Wales’ ‘fire break’ lockdown ends on November 9.

“But new national measures will only help keep coronavirus under control if everyone adapts their behaviour to the ongoing public health emergency,” he said.

“We need to do everything we can to reduce our exposure to the virus by reducing the contacts we have with other people – at home; in work and when we go out,” he said.

“We need to do the minimum – not the maximum, which the rules allow.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that people would no longer be told to ‘stay at home’ but would continue to be asked to work from home where possible.

The firebreak was introduced on October 23 to help bring coronavirus under control in Wales, to save lives and prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

 

‘Over’

Despite England going into lockdown from this Thursday, Drakeford said that non-essential retail, gyms, places of worship and schools for Year 9 and above would reopen from 9 November.

Ministers spent the weekend finalising the plans and also discussing what problems may occur in relation to the border.

“We will be asking people to work from home wherever possible, but on the 9 November the firebreak in Wales will be over and large parts of life will be able to resume as they were on 22 October,” he said.

There will be no return to the local lockdowns, which saw more than half of Wales’ population under localised restrictions prior to the fire-break.

Welsh ministers have said that they hope to reach Christmas without the need for more lockdowns before the new year.

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