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Wales to enter lockdown from midnight as Christmas plans tightened


W

ales will enter a nationwide lockdown from midnight tonight, First Minister Mark Drakeford has introduced.

Mr Drakeford mentioned the state of affairs was “extremely severe” and the unfold of the brand new Covid-19 variant meant the strict lockdown restrictions could be introduced ahead to Saturday.

Restrictions have been attributable to be eased from December 23 to twenty-eight, however folks in Wales will now solely have the ability to kind a bubble with one different family on Christmas Day.

Mr Drakeford mentioned the sample of transmission in London and the South East of England, linked to the brand new variant of coronavirus, is “remarkably according to the fast acceleration of transmission in Wales” in latest weeks.

In an announcement, the First Minister defined that the most recent proof urged that the brand new pressure is current “all through Wales” and mentioned this required an “fast response”.

The Welsh Authorities’s Cupboard met on Saturday to debate the “worrying new improvement within the pandemic”, in addition to recommendation from senior medical and scientific advisers, together with the impression on NHS Wales.

“The state of affairs is extremely severe. I can’t overstate this,” Mr Drakeford mentioned.

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Mark Drakeford mentioned the state of affairs was “extremely severe” in Wales

/ PA )

“We’ve subsequently reached the tough resolution to deliver ahead the Alert Stage 4 restrictions for Wales, consistent with the motion being taken in London and the South East of England.

“These new restrictions will come into impact from midnight tonight as an alternative of throughout the Christmas interval.”

Non-essential retailers, shut contact companies, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality will shut in Wales on the finish of buying and selling on Saturday as a part of the brand new lockdown.

“Sadly, we should additionally look once more on the preparations for Christmas – we can’t expose folks to the chance of this new, extra virulent pressure of coronavirus,” Mr Drakeford mentioned.

“We’ll subsequently change the present guidelines, which permit two households to come back collectively to kind a Christmas bubble over a five-day interval, in order that they may apply on Christmas Day solely.

“All through the Alert Stage 4 interval, a single individual family will have the ability to be a part of with one different family.

“Whereas all of us wish to keep away from additional disruption to companies and plans for Christmas, our overriding obligation is to guard lives right here in Wales.”

Extra reporting by PA Media.



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