Lockdown measures could be reintroduced in the autumn, winter months due to ‘real prospect’ of a spike in COVID-19 cases
Tighter lockdown measures could be reintroduced during the autumn,winter months in the face of a spike in coronavirus cases, Wales’ chief medical officer has said.
Dr Frank Atherton has also advised that Welsh Government public messaging around the coronavirus pandemic should highlight the potential need to re-impose more restrictive measures in the winter if ‘viral activity increases’.
In a statement to Welsh ministers on the recent review of lockdown regulations, Dr Atherton said: “The virus is likely to thrive in cooler, indoor environments particularly where people gather closely together; this raises the real prospect of a resurgence in viral transmission in the autumn and winter.”
Dr Atherton also advised the Welsh Government to use the next review in three weeks time as a “period to develop proposals for further increasing opportunities for the public to safely use a wider range of outdoor spaces.”
During the Welsh Government’s coronavirus press conference today, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “It is important to think about what might happen in the autumn and the winter, because some of the measures we’ve been able to unlock are because the time of year we’re in, and our understanding of coronavirus.
The fact that it lasts a lot less in direct sunlight outdoors, but it lasts for much longer on indoor surfaces.
We do need to think about the fact that we may have to reintroduce some lockdown measures in the winter, that depends on the reservoir of coronavirus that exists, it depends on people’s behaviour as well.
There isn’t a hard or fast set of measures to reintroduce but we’ll have to look at the evidence that we get. So if you like, the evidence on not just the numbers of people who test positive with our expanding program from test race protect, but also numbers of hospital admissions, the numbers of people in critical care.
There is a range of key data and information we’ll consider about the reality of where coronavirus is, how many how many people are contracting and the impact, and that will guide a range of choices we have to continue making as a government.
The winter is a much more difficult period of time because more of us were living our lives indoors, and that’s where there’s the greatest risk from coronavirus.
“Again, it I think underscores the continuing advice to people in the shielding category. They should not go and do their own shopping, they should not return to a workplace if they can’t work from home.”
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