An updated version of Wales’ Coronavirus control plan will be published next week, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
The plan sets out how national measures to tackle the virus will be introduced depending on a range of indicators and the level of risk from the virus in Wales. The plan is designed to provide people with greater certainty for people and businesses about the restrictions being used.
The updated plan has been informed by the latest analysis of medical evidence and has been partly informed by the experience of other parts of the UK in responding to the pandemic.
It comes as rates of Coronavirus are particularly high in Wales and the general situation across the whole country is ‘very serious’.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned that there could be around 2,500 people in hospital in Wales with Coronavirus by Christmas Day if the increasing number of hospital admissions continue. Coronavirus restrictions are set to be relaxed over the festive period, but people are being asked to limit social interactions with others as much as possible, amid fears of a national lockdown following the Christmas period.
A number of outdoor attractions in Wales with have to close from Monday due to the rate of Coronavirus cases, including funfairs, theme and trampoline parks. Secondary schools and Further Education colleges have also now been closed with teaching continuing online in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.
What is in the Coronavirus control plan?
Four alert levels are set out under the plan to be published next week. The level of restrictions depending on the alert level – much like the COVID-Alert Levels system used by the UK Government.
The alert levels are as follows;
- Alert Level One (low-risk) – closest to normality that can be expected ahead of widespread take-up of vaccinations
- Alert Level Two (medium-risk) – “additional, targeted controls are put in place to maintain infection rates at lower levels” – possibly accompanied by some local restrictions.
- Alert Level Three (high-risk) – the strictest restrictions short of a firebreak or longer lockdown
- Alert Level Four (very high risk) – restrictions equivalent to a lockdown
Speaking about the plan, Mr Drakeford said;
“This has been a truly challenging year. The impact of coronavirus on us all – on all aspects of our lives – cannot be underestimated. Like almost every country in the world, we have put restrictions in place to control the spread of this deadly virus.
“This updated plan shows how the national measures will be introduced in a more uniform way as we move through the pandemic, providing greater certainty for people and businesses.”