The Welsh Cabinet has met this evening to consider advice on a potential need for a ‘fire-breaker’ lockdown to bring the Coronavirus pandemic back under control in Wales.
On Sunday evening, a Welsh Government spokesperson said;
“The measures we have put in place at both a local and a national level, with help from the people of Wales, have kept the spread of Covid-19 under check.
“However, there is a growing consensus we now need to introduce a different set of measures and actions to respond to the virus as it continues to spread across Wales more quickly during the autumn and winter months ahead.”
On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the Welsh Government been looking in detail at the possibility of a fire-breaker lockdown in Wales. During a press conference, he refused to speculate on what such a ‘fire-breaker’, described by many as a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown would entail.
Reports over the weekend have discussed a leaked letter to transport operators in Wales, which has suggested that a 17-day lockdown may be implemented, involving the closure of all non-essential retail and hospitality, much like the national lockdown earlier this year. Whether schools would be closed under such a lockdown remains unknown.
Calls for a circuit-breaker lockdown have been growing in Wales and in the UK as a whole recently, with Coronavirus cases continuing to rise rapidly in many areas.
In the latest 24 hours of data, 950 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Wales, while a further 3 people were reported to have died from the virus.
If a ‘fire-breaker’ lockdown is implemented in Wales, the country would be following a similar path to Northern Ireland, where a four-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown has been implemented. On Friday, First Minister Drakeford said that a two-three week lockdown in Wales, if implemented, would be a ‘short, sharp shock’ to the virus and that it may slow the virus enough to get the country ‘through to Christmas’.
In the statement released on Sunday evening, a Welsh Government spokesperson said;
“Ministers have held a number of meetings over the weekend with senior Welsh Government officials, scientists and public health experts to consider their advice on a potential need for a ‘fire break’ set of measures to control the virus.
“The Welsh Cabinet met this evening to consider that advice. The Cabinet will meet again tomorrow morning to make a final decision. The First Minister will update the people of Wales on any decisions taken tomorrow.”
Mr Drakeford is expected to deliver the Welsh Government Press Conference at 12:15 on Monday afternoon, broadcast live from Cathays Park.