Posted: Wed 14th Jul 2021

Drakeford to reveal outcome of latest three-week Covid restriction review today

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jul 14th, 2021


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First minister Mark Drakeford will reveal the outcome of the latest three-week review of the current Covid restrictions during a press conference this afternoon, Wednesday 14 July.

He will meet ministers this morning to finalise details on the further easing of Covid restrictions in Wales.

Mr Drakeford has however said there won’t be “a wholesale abandonment of the actions which have been taken during the pandemic.”

Speaking in the Senedd on Tuesday, he said the current third wave of coronavirus “is already testing our health service—760 people fell ill with coronavirus in Wales yesterday alone; the largest number on a single day for many, many, many weeks. ”

“And the thought that that is a promising context in which to move rapidly away from the protections that are still there to keep us safe—I’m not persuaded that this is the moment for such an approach.”

On Monday, Boris Johnson acknowledged the pandemic was ‘not over’ and said rising Covid case numbers will result in more hospitalisations and deaths but confirmed the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ in England will go ahead on July 19 anyway.

Mandatory restrictions in England will be lifted, there will be no legal requirement for people to wear face masks and limits on social distancing to end.

Mr Johnson said: “We will stick to our plan to lift legal restrictions and to lift social distancing, but we expect and recommend that people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet, such as on public transport.”

Mark Drakeford said he met with the First Minister of Scotland, senior Members from Northern Ireland and with  from the Cabinet Office on Monday.

“I said at that meeting that it still seems to me that every part of the United Kingdom is moving in broadly the same direction. ”

“We may be doing it at slightly different speeds and in different ways, but the essential direction of travel is the same between us all.”

“We all want to go on lifting restrictions; we all want to do it in a way that keeps people safe.”

The Welsh government has already confirmed face coverings “will continue to play an important role in helping keep us all safe from coronavirus in Wales”.

Mr Drakeford is expected to confirm whether Wales can fully move to “alert level one” with the easing of some restrictions that had been delayed because of the Delta variant.

The Welsh government is also expected to publish new plans setting out how Wales will move beyond alert level one to a new alert level zero, with fewer legal restrictions, but it is not expected to be implemented until the next lockdown review in August.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies, called for a plan for the restoration of freedoms in Wales to save Welsh jobs, he said: “Scotland has a plan, England has a plan, and for the sake of Welsh jobs and our economic recovery, it’s now time Labour ministers published a detailed plan for the restoration of freedoms in Wales.

“We have to learn to live with the virus and with the summer kicking in, and the school term coming to its conclusion, many families, workers and businesses will be asking if not now, when?

“Thanks to the great work of our NHS and volunteers, we have made excellent progress with our vaccination programme, and this should allow us to restore more freedoms in Wales and start our recovery.

“The vaccines are working, and the latest modelling shows that two doses of the vaccine are just as effective against hospital admission with the delta variant as with the alpha variant.

“Given the data trends, the Welsh Labour Government now has the flexibility to provide families, workers and businesses with their plan for restoring all freedoms and releasing restrictions in Wales.

“For the sake of Welsh jobs and our economic recovery, it’s important the First Minister does so tomorrow (Wednesday)”

A Welsh government press conference will take place at 5.15pm today, Wednesday 14 July.

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