News in brief: Senedd members pay tribute to Prince Philip
The Senedd has paid tribute to Prince Philip who died at the age of 99 on Friday, at a specially convened virtual Senedd meeting this morning.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said Prince Philip had lived a “remarkable” life and championed a “broad diversity” of causes in Wales.
“A very long life in any circumstances, brings with it a set of remarkable events witnessed and experiences, enjoyed or endured,” Mr Drakeford said.
“To have lived such a life at the centre of world events and in a way which made almost every experience of public, rather than simply private interest, makes it even more remarkable still, and that was the life of the Duke of Edinburgh.
“We will all have heard the tributes of the last few days, and their entirely accurate focus on the theme of public service, but it is worth pausing for a moment to remember the human story that goes alongside the service, and the decade after decade in which that service was sustained.”
Leading the Welsh Conservative’s tributes the party’s leader in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies said while this is a time to mourn, it is also a time to celebrate a life of public service.
“His Royal Highness offered so much to so many people whether young, middle-aged, or old, whether they were taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, or serving and former members of the Armed Forces,” Mr Davies added.
“His own military service saw him play a key role in the struggles of World War Two, and he never forgot the men and women he served with and the countless thousands who followed.
“He was always interested in what was happening in the world around him, whether leading the cause of environmentalism with the founding of the World Wildlife Fund, or on the occasions when he visited what was then the National Assembly for Wales, he asked questions, he wanted to know how and why things worked and how they could be improved to benefit more people and our world.”
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price expressed his sympathy to the Royal Family in his tribute.
“It’s important to bear in mind as has already been noted in the midst of all the official mourning, we are taking here about a wife who has lost her husband with an incomprehensible void opening up after so many years together,” he said.
“In a year of so much loss, our silence here today is a mark of respect and commemoration to the Royal Family in their grief but it’s also a heart-rending symbol of loss as we grieve with all those who have lost loved ones during this most difficult of years.”
The ceremonial royal funeral will be held at St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Saturday at 3pm.
Weekly Covid cases in Wales fall to lowest total since August
The latest figures from Public Health Wales confirm there have been no further deaths due to Covid-19 reported in the last 24 hours and 50 people have tested positive for the virus.
For the seven days up to 7 April there have been 522 new cases recorded across Wales, the lowest number since the last week of August when 320 cases were reported.
Five local authorities, Ceredigion, Denbighshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire and Torfaen had no new cases and the remaining 17 council areas in Wales reported only single figure increases.
The highest number of new infections was in Cardiff, where nine people tested positive for Covid.
Monmouthshire has the lowest weekly case rate in the country at 2.1 per 100,000 people. Just two people tested positive for coronavirus there over the last seven days.
Cardiff and Swansea have the highest case rate in Wales at 31.6 and Swansea also has the highest positive test proportion at 3.7% per 100,000 tests. Anglesey has the second highest case rate at 31.4.
The national case rate has fallen from 17.6 to 17.5 since yesterday’s report and the test rate remains 2.0%
Health Minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines are the latest countries to be added to the “red list” of countries from which travellers are prohibited from entering Wales without undergoing a period of quarantine.
The four nations have been added to the list following increases in the number of Covid-19 infections over recent weeks.
Direct flights to Wales are banned from red-list countries and travellers are not permitted to enter Wales unless they are processed through a designated port in England or Scotland and remain in managed quarantine there for 10 days before travelling onto Wales.
Other amendments to the regulations announced by the minister include:
- UK resident hauliers who have been in a “red list” country are now permitted to enter Wales and be exempt from the requirement to go into managed isolation in England.
- The introduction of a bespoke testing arrangement for hauliers (both UK and non-UK) to exempt them from the post-arrival testing requirements and replace that with tests at days 2, 5 and 8.
- Introduce specific isolation requirements for hauliers.
- Introduce fixed penalty notices for offences relating to the new testing and isolation requirements.
- Allow students under the age of 18 who have been in a “red list” country to enter Wales and to isolate at a boarding school.
- Allow a person to leave isolation after 14 days if a test result has not been returned from the laboratory.
Travel within the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) is unchanged, meaning travel without isolation is still permitted.