First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has urged people in Wales to continue to work from home wherever possible.
Speaking during a Welsh Government Press Conference on Friday, Mr Drakeford said that it had never been the Welsh Government’s policy to encourage people to return to workplaces where they could successfully work from home.
Meanwhile, in England, the UK Government has been urging people to return to physical offices while following COVID-secure guidelines. Mr Drakeford has though said that people in Wales should be continuing to limit contact with others to help control the virus.
The message on Friday came as the First Minister confirmed a number of other measures taking effect in Wales from Monday to help tackle a rise in Coronavirus cases in the country.
Among the measures announced, the wearing of face coverings will become mandatory in indoor public places across Wales from Monday. It will become compulsory for people over 11 years old to wear a face-covering in indoor public spaces such as shops, though there will be exemptions for some people for medical reasons.
There will also be a change to the rules on indoor gatherings in Wales. From Monday, a new limit will be introduced in Wales meaning only six people can meet together indoors at any one time and all of these six people must belong to the same extended household group. The rule applies to all indoor settings including in pubs and restaurants, though children under 11 will not be counted in a group of six.
Urging people in Wales to follow the new regulations, Mr Drakeford said;
“We have all been through so much together this year and we all want to see an end to coronavirus but this will only happen if we all follow the rules and take action to protect ourselves and our loved ones and keep Wales safe.”
Gatherings of up to 30 people with social distancing will still be allowed to take place in Wales, with Mr Drakeford saying there was ‘no evidence’ that the Coronavirus was spreading through outdoor gatherings in Wales.
The announcements on Friday came following the latest review of the Coronavirus regulations in Wales. Starting his statement at the press conference on Friday lunchtime, the First Minister said that he had more bad news than good news for the first time following a review of the regulations.
In some parts of Wales, different, stricter restrictions apply than in the rest of the country. Stricter localised restrictions have been introduced in the Caerphilly County Borough Council area as part of efforts to control a sharp rise of COVID-19 cases in the area recently.
Despite a rise in Coronavirus cases in parts of Wales, no new COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed by Public Health Wales since 31 August.