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Lockdown to continue in Wales to help ensure safe return to classroom for youngest pupils

Lockdown to continue in Wales to help ensure safe return to classroom for youngest pupils

First Minister Mark Drakeford will announce today that stay-at-home lockdown restrictions will remain in place in Wales for a further three weeks.

It comes as the youngest children in Wales are preparing to return to school from Monday of next week.

In delivering a press conference this lunchtime, Mr Drakeford is expected to say that thanks to Wales' team effort, cases of Coronavirus are at their lowest level in the country since the end of September 2020.

The First Minister will also look ahead to the next review of restrictions, in which the Welsh Government will be considering if all primary pupils and some older students can return to the classroom from the middle of March. Restrictions on non-essential retail and close contact services will also then be reviewed in Wales.

Wales is starting to open schools earlier than in England, where no pupils (except vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers) are expected to be in the classroom until 8 March.

In Wales, around one in three adults have had a Coronavirus vaccination - raising hopes that lockdown restrictions can be eased over the coming weeks and months.

According to official figures, the total number of suspected Coronaviurs related deaths in Wales since the start of the pandemic is 5,189, up by 14 in the latest 24 hours of reporting.

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