Posted: Fri 8th May 2020

Cautious, phased approach to lifting any lockdown restrictions In Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, May 8th, 2020


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Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford will announce the outcome of the Welsh Cabinet’s discussions on the lockdown this afternoon.

The Cabinet met twice on Thursday to discuss the restrictions, which have been in force since March 23.

Welsh Government issued a statement on Thursday clarifying who is responsible for lifting lockdown measures in Wales after tabloid newspapers splashed headlines across front pages claiming Boris Johnson was set to ease the measures in the UK.

The stay at home laws are devolved to Wales as part of public health legislation, that means it’s up to Welsh government, not UK government what the next steps will be.

As is the ‘norm’ some ‘informed’ guesswork on what Mr Drakeford will announce today has been published by a Cardiff based journalist.

ITV Wales Political Editor Adrian Masters ‘suggests’ changes in Wales “are likely to include allowing people to leave the house more than once a day for exercise, but with continued restrictions on leaving the local area.”

He also writes: “The message ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’ could be replaced with ‘Stay Safe, Stay Local.’

According to Masters: “Some non-essential retail outlets could be allowed to reopen but with social distancing rules in place meaning that people may be able to go again, for instance, to garden centres and farmers’ markets.”

Keeping the reproduction rate known as the ‘R number’ below one is crucial to the lifting of any lockdown measures. 

Health Minister Vaughan Gething has issued a video ‘explainer’ on the R number and why it matters. 

Mr Gething says: “All viruses have a rate of infection scientists call this the R number. 

R is the average number of people one infected person passes the virus onto. It tells us how contagious a virus is. 

We’re using the R number to tell us the number of people who could get infected for every one person who becomes ill with coronavirus.

For example, if R is one, and 100 people are infected with coronavirus, they will infect 100 people more. 

These people will go on to infect even more people.

An R number of one or more tells us that the virus is spreading quickly. 

But if R is less the one, those 100 people will infect fewer than 100 people with coronavirus, and so on. 

This tells us that the virus is spreading less quickly, and the actions that we’re taking together are helping to control it.

This tells us that the virus is spreading less quickly, and the actions that we’re taking together are helping to control it. 

Without a cure, or a vaccine for coronavirus that R number informs the decisions that we are taking to stop coronavirus from spreading to protect our NHS, and to save lives. 

When social distancing measures were brought in here in Wales the R number was between two and three. 

This means that the virus was spreading quickly in our communities. 

Thanks to you, to everyone staying at home, washing our hands regularly and staying two meters away from others that R rate is now falling.

Even when the R number is below one, it doesn’t mean that we can just return to normal.

Everything that we change, every adjustment that we make to the restrictions in place will have an impact on the R number. 

That is why we will take a cautious, phased approach to lifting any restrictions.”

The First Minister briefing will be at the now usual 12:30pm slot and is viewable on BBC One Wales, S4C and online via the @WelshGovernment twitter account.

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