The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced that Wales will remain in lockdown for another three weeks.
Speaking on Friday, Mr Drakeford said that the rules in place have ‘helped us all to save lives’ and has said that changing them now would see hospital admissions soar. The First Minister said;
“The coronavirus outbreak is unprecedented, as is our response.
“As a nation we have pulled together to tackle this virus, which has moved quickly around the world with tragic results. I want to acknowledge the loss some families have experienced. The actions we have taken to protect everyone, but particularly those at risk from serious illness, have been unparalleled.
“I want to thank everyone in Wales for this collective effort. Together we are helping to reduce the speed and spread of the virus. The result is a decreasing number of new cases and a reproduction rate that is going down.”
Mr Drakeford said that he believed that the ‘R’ or rate of infection for the Coronavirus in Wales was at 0.8.
Some small changes to the lockdown measures in Wales from Monday have been announced, including;
- People will be allowed to go outside to exercise more than once a day – but must stay local
- Garden centres can open, but only if they adhere to strict social distancing rules
- Local authorities can begin to plan how to safely re-open libraries and recycling centres
Those over 70 have been told to take extra care, and the most vulnerable people must continue to shield.
When asked what he meant by ‘local’, Mr Drakeford urged people to use common sense and not to use exercise as an excuse for travelling. Responding to a question we posed to him, he added that penalties for breaking lockdown measures would continue to be in place.
The First Minister told reporters that he believes any changes to UK wide-restrictions due to be announced on Sunday will be modest and broadly similar to those made by the Welsh government.
The confirmed extension of lockdown measures in Wales comes as the country has already been in lockdown for 6 weeks.
Photo Credit: Welsh Government