Welsh Conservatives call for evidence as Drakeford says restrictions will stay in place
The Welsh Conservatives have called for evidence to back up the Welsh Government’s Covid restrictions after the First Minister said they would stay in place for another week.
Mark Drakeford said today that his Cabinet had carried out a review of the new restrictions introduced on Boxing Day and decided to keep them in place for at least another week. The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided not to introduce any new restrictions in England amid a surge in the Omicron variant.
“Wales moved to alert level two on Boxing Day,” Mark Drakeford said. “The public health situation remains very volatile and the Christmas period is always one when collecting and analysing data is challenging.
“Against this background, the outcome of the review is that we will continue with the current arrangements for alert level two protections in Wales, while continuing to closely monitor the situation.”
Stricter rules were introduced in Wales from Sunday meaning groups of no more than six people could meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants.
Meanwhile, outdoor events are limited to 50, while 30 people allowed indoors, leading to many sporting events being cancelled or played behind closed doors.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS, said that the Welsh Government needed to “lead by example and publish the evidence they are receiving before making decisions, so that we can thoroughly scrutinise their actions”.
“It is not good enough that they want to impose restrictions, which do not make sense, without showing us this crucial evidence to justify them,” he said.
He however welcomed the decision to cut the self-isolation period in Wales from 10 to seven days.
From tomorrow, people who have tested positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate for seven days. On days six and seven of their self-isolation period they should take lateral flow tests and if these tests – taken 24 hours apart – are positive, they should continue to self-isolate.
“We welcome the changes announced today that sees the self-isolation reduced by three days to enable those critical workers, to keep the economy turning and to maintain staff levels in the NHS,” Russell George said.
“It is a shame that the Labour Government rejected this change last week but at least they have seen the evidence and changed their minds.”
It was announced earlier that Covid infection rates in Wales had reached the highest level since the start of the pandemic in March last year.
According to the latest figures released by Public Health Wales, 21,051 people tested positive for the virus in the 48 hours up to 9am yesterday, raising the weekly rate across the country to 1,092.5 cases per 100,000 population.
Mark Drakeford said that the situation in Wales had “deteriorated in the last week as the omicron wave has arrived”.
“We have seen a marked rise in cases of coronavirus – the majority are likely to be caused by the omicron variant,” he said.
“This is similar to the position in the rest of the UK.”
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what exactly, is the point of being a tory?
Kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴
I see that the tories in england, are handling the pandemic so well, that they’re reopening nightingale hospitals, a sure sign of success.
They are not the Nightingale hospitals from 2020. They are for people who are not seriously unwell and need 2 or 3 days.They will be full of the unvaccinated people who will get I’ll from omricold. Remember the Stadium in Cardiff only had about 30 people in it with a capacity of hundreds over many months.
Seems to me that Wales through restrictions and England though building extra space in NHS car parks are both preparing for the worst but hoping for the best in different ways. Guess it’s a case of whether you’d prefer the circus school to offer you a safety chord and net or offer you deal on insurance in case of accident. I do think some things brought in by the Senedd are lacking in basis and would at times prefer Scotland’s approach which has sought to protect outdoor life much more. Sturgeon appears to have said restrictions likely until the 17th,… Read more »
I would think that the fact we have now given England 10 million LFT kits, would be evidence enough, that what our Gov are doing is worth continuing, and maybe the correct way forward. A reason given in England for the lack of test kits, is, their covid rules are leading to shortages.
If its going so well in England, why are the English asking for 4 million of our covid tests, paid for by Welsh tax payers ?
This seems that the English government is not handling this crisis seriously.
This is why the Welsh & Scottish governments have made this cautious approach.
I trust the English government WILL be paying our Welsh government for this export.
In our rush to defend against Tory attacks, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that publishing the evidence would be a good thing to do. Don’t you think?
Tory MS Russell George forgets, although Omicron is the dominant strain of Covid the other more dangerous variants like Covid-19 & Delta are still out there. Also, there are 5 million or more still to be vaccinated, and it only takes one to get infected for another more deadly mutation occur to tip the balance.. The evidence all around us. Tens of thousands being infected daily with Omicron all around Britain thanks to the lax Tory rule of allowing travel to & from red countries like South Africa that has allowed this variant a foothold in Britain. And we now… Read more »
I wouldn’t like to be a Conservative politician when February arrives – packed nightclubs and pubs in England are going to see Covid go through the roof throughout Jan. Will they still be trashing the Welsh government then or will they be mysteriously quiet? It’s better to be safe than sorry. Lifes first.