Deeside politicians want “regional approach” to coronavirus restrictions adopted in Wales “as soon as possible”
Alyn and Deeside politicians have called for a “regional approach” to be adopted for a new tier system of coronavirus restrictions announced earlier today.
Wales first minister delivered a sobering message about the rate at which coronavirus continues to rise in Wales.
During the Welsh government press conference this afternoon, Mark Drakeford said the number of coronavirus related patients in hospital past 1900 for the very first time.
He said if cases continue to rise at “this rate we could see 2500 people with coronavirus in hospital by Christmas Day.”
The first minister has set out details of a refreshed tier system of restrictions which will be introduced in a “more uniform and predictable way.”
The new ‘alert levels’ will be brought in across Wales, starting at Alert Level 3 for all.
However the first minister pointed towards a future assessment per local authority that could see some areas at higher levels than others.
He also warned Wales could move to level 4 – “equivalent to a lockdown” immediately after Christmas.
The new tiers or levels revealed today:
- Low-risk – this represents the closest to normality we are likely to have before the summer and the widespread take-up of vaccinations.
- Medium-risk – additional, targeted controls are put in place to maintain infection rates at lower levels. These may be complemented by more targeted local restrictions to manage specific incidents and outbreaks.
- High-risk – these are the strictest package of restrictions, short of a firebreak or lockdown.
- Very high risk – restrictions at this level are equivalent to a lockdown and reflect the seriousness of the situation.
Mark Drakeford said: “Today in Wales, we are at alert level three, the level of risk is very high.
“I must be clear with everybody, if the strengthened measures of last week (restrictions on hospitality) do not succeed in turning the tide of the virus, then it is inevitable that we will have to consider a move to alert level 4 immediately after Christmas.”
Asked by the Daily Post if he was able to give any details on a regional approach to restrictions, Mr Drakeford said:
“Let me just say to colleagues who are in North Wales, numbers are rising everywhere in Wales.”
“Today (the infection rate in) Conwy is just under 100 per 100,000, Denbighshire over 100 (per 100,000) Flintshire over 200 (per 100,000) and Wrexham is over 230 cases per 100,000 per population.”
“All but one of the six North Wales authorities saw raises again yesterday.”
“The reason for acting on an all Wales basis is to protect people in North Wales.”
“If we had introduced a lower series of restrictions, all that would have meant was that people in North Wales were even less defended against this virus.”
“I’m absolutely convinced that we did the right thing and that we did it in the interest of people in those parts of Wales where the virus isn’t as high as it is in the south east Wales corner.”
“What we will set out on Monday though is a set of criteria that we will use to determine which of the alert levels will apply in Wales.”
“If we got into a place where there was a reliable difference between some local authorities, clearly at a lower level of infection than other parts of Wales, then we will be able to have a different alert level in different parts of Wales.”
Alyn and Deeside politicians Jack Sargeant MS and Mark Tami MP support the new tiered system approach, in a joint statement they said:
“We support today’s announcement which is about slowing the spread of the virus and saving lives.”
“These have been tremendously difficult times, there are no easy solutions and inevitably restrictions will make life more difficult.”
“Going forward, we would like to see a regional approach adopted in Wales as soon as possible and will be working constructively to help achieve that.”
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