Posted: Mon 14th Dec 2020

Details on new 4 tier coronavirus control plan published, Wales likely to move into level 4 “immediately after Christmas”

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Dec 14th, 2020

The Welsh Government has today revealed more details regarding the latest measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 in Wales.

The revised coronavirus control plan puts in place four alert levels or tiers which will be implemented over the winter months to protect people’s health.

It also sets out how and when Wales will move between these alert levels.

The government said the measures are designed to be as “simple, fair and clear as possible” and to provide greater certainty for the public and businesses about what legal restrictions will be put in place.

It said the plans were based on the advice of the UK Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE), as well as approaches that have worked elsewhere in the UK.

It also says the alert levels approach allows for regional and localised application, similar to the regional tier system used over the border in England.

The four alert levels are:

During today’s Welsh government press conference , health minister Vaughan Gething said:

“The first minister has already indicated that unless there is a significant change in our case rates, the whole of Wales will move into level 4 immediately after Christmas.”

He said Level 4 restrictions will be, “like the firebreak set of controls and will apply to the “whole country.”

An announcement on whether Wales will enter alert Level 4 will be made by Mark Drakeford by December 22nd.

If Wales does enter Level 4 restrictions similar those seen during the two week firebreak between October and November will come into force.

The Welsh Government say “The legal restrictions described in this document are a last resort. No government wants to place these restrictions and constraints on people’s freedoms and on the economy. ”

“It is important to remember we can all be carriers of coronavirus without knowing it, and we should act accordingly. Restrictions can be avoided if we all change our behaviour and avoid doing those things that can spread the virus. Unfortunately, restrictions become necessary when the virus begins to spread.”

“We recognise these are blunt instruments, which may seem unfair on those who minimise risks and on those premises that are scrupulous in doing the same. But the virus does not discriminate and can present itself in any environment, which is why a universal approach is necessary. ”

The ‘key indicators’ to decide each level are in the document that include, but are not limited to:

  • Level One, case rate of 50 per 100k , confirmed case rates for over 60s remain low. Test positivity below 3% over seven days. Hospital capacity being managed effectively and any potential pressure from increased cases is at least five to six weeks away.
  • Level Two, case rate between 50 and 150 cases per 100k, Test positivity more than 3% over seven days , Projection of future case incidence rates over next two weeks does not suggest significant rises.
  • Level Three , case rate more than 150 per 100k, test positivity over 5% over seven days and projection of future case incidence rates over next two weeks not anticipating significant rises.
  • Level Four, case rate more than 300 per 100k rolling seven day figure. Projection of future case incidence rates over next two weeks anticipating significant rises to more than 500 cases per 100,000 people, and Test positivity above 10% over seven days.

With local authority areas and regions being considered for the new Alert Levels, it appears neighbouring council figures could affect others, “Our approach to analysing the data will consider patterns and trends between neighbouring local authority areas.

If there is evidence of a sustained and clear difference between some parts of Wales compared to others we will consider whether a regional approach would work better for those areas.

“This might involve a region of neighbouring local authorities – all interconnected and with similar patterns of infection – moving into a different level to other parts of Wales.

In considering any options, we will take into account the underlying trends in those and neighbouring areas as well as the views of local health professionals, local leaders and local partners. ”

A sector based chart has also been produced, to explain what each alert level will mean:

 

The Coronavirus Control Plan: Alert Levels in Wales document is available at: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-control-plan-alert-levels-wales

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