Welsh ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown could start next Friday and last 16 days, leaked letter suggests
Wales could go into a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown between 6pm next Friday and midnight on Sunday 8 November, a leaked letter has suggested.
The letter published by Bubble Wales from the Confederation of Passenger Transport Cymru says they have been briefed by ministers about the timing of the lockdown.
The letter, however, notes that it is a “fast-moving situation” and most of the details are still to be made by government ministers.
It suggests that the lockdown will be of a similar nature to that in March with most non-essential shops to be closed, including pubs and restaurants.
Primary schools will remain open but ministers are yet to make a decision on secondary schools, according to the letter.
On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said a “short, sharp” circuit-breaker could slow down the virus.
He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continued with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said. “A ‘fire-break’ would also mean a short, sharp shock to all our lives.
“We would all have to stay at home to once again save lives. But this time it would be for weeks not months.”
He added that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.
“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he said.
“Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Earlier on Friday Dr David Bailey, British Medical Association (BMA) Cymru Wales council chair, backed the government’s fire-brake proposals.
“Cases are climbing fast across Wales with the latest figures showing that the number of Covid-related patients in the Welsh NHS has risen by 49% in a week, it’s clear that the current restrictions are not strong enough to suppress the spread of the virus, Dr Bailey said.
“We welcome the move to introduce a travel ban from Covid hotspots, but at this critical point doctors in Wales support, and are calling for as a matter of urgency, a circuit-breaker lockdown for a number of weeks.
“It is imperative that robust action is taken now without delay to protect the citizens of Wales and the Welsh NHS.”
Dr Bailey added: “A second peak alongside the added pressure that the winter season will inevitably bring and the huge backlog of patients already in the system is quite frankly an overwhelming prospect. Our members are deeply concerned about the ability of the service to cope.”