Posted: Wed 16th Feb 2022

Welsh Government set to publish transition plan for living with coronavirus

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 16th, 2022

The Welsh Government is to publish a “transition plan” for living with coronavirus following the next three week review.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said the plan will be for when all legal restrictions made under the emergency health protection legislation are removed.

Last week it was announced that from 18 February the legal requirement to show a Covid Pass to enter certain venues and events will be lifted and that face coverings will no longer need to be worn in all indoor public places from the 28.

However for the time being the mask mandate remains in place for retail, public transport and health and care settings.

If the public health conditions continue to improve, the legal requirement to wear face coverings in all remaining settings could be lifted by the end of March.

Speaking in the Senedd yesterday the health minister confirmed the Welsh Government intends to release a transition plan for living with coronavirus following the next review in three weeks time.

Ms Morgan said: “From this Friday 18 February onwards, we will remove the requirement to show a COVID pass to enter large indoor and outdoor events, and to enter nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

“From 28 February onwards, we will remove the requirement for face coverings to be worn in some indoor public places. But they will continue to be a legal requirement in all retail settings, on public transport, and in health and care settings.

“If the public health situation continues to improve, we hope to be able to remove the requirement to wear face coverings entirely by the end of March.

“Following the next review, we intend to publish a transition plan for living with coronavirus.

“This will be a plan for the time when all legal restrictions made under the emergency health protection legislation are removed. We are now able to move forward and begin this cautious lifting of protections, while leaving others in place.

“For those people who have followed the rules and the measures to keep them and their loved ones safe, we thank them for that. We thank everyone for playing their part. We also thank, of course, our NHS and social care staff for continuing to work tirelessly through these difficult times.

“COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. As we continue to lift these restrictions, we will continue to monitor the public health situation, but the picture is improving. That gives us the hope that we can plan for a brighter future.”

The minister was challenged on the ending of mandatory self isolation if an individual tests positive for coronavirus.

Last week Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said the “Welsh Government hasn’t seen any “expert advice” underpinning plan to scrap all Covid restrictions in England.”

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his attention to remove all remaining covid measures in England this month.

Mr Gething said he was “surprised at both the timing and the nature of what the Prime Minister said.

Speaking on Friday the minister said: “Earlier points in the pandemic when significant changes have been made, there has been a conversation between health ministers across UK.

“A conversation between chief medical officers across the UK and there’s been advice from Sage the scientific expert committee

“None of those things happened before the Prime Minister made his surprise announcement immediately before Prime Minister’s questions.”

Welsh Conservative MS Russell George called on the health minister to offer clarity on the Welsh Government’s plans and asked “what evidence do you actually want to see” in ending the legal requirement to self isolate.

He added: “You and your colleagues have expressed amazement and disappointment at it coming to an end in England, and your Government says you’d like to see the evidence to support this move.

“So, my question would be: what evidence do you actually want to see in that regard?

“And secondly, the economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has said that it could be scrapped before the end of next month here in Wales. So, what evidence has informed that statement, if, as you say, no evidence has been provided to justify the UK Government’s decision in that regard? And thirdly, your Government colleagues have claimed that the UK Government did not give you a heads-up on their decision.

“Maybe that’s, of course, because they wanted to make the announcement first in the House of Commons, rather than passing to journalists first.

“But I would ask you: how often do you give UK Government Ministers notice of your decisions here?”

Ms Morgan said: “The difficulty is that the UK Government is acting as if it’s all over, and the reality is, if you read the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advice, it’s actually quite sobering about what else could be coming around the corner.

“At the moment, we’re doing well, but we don’t know what may come next.

“Let me give you some ideas about what may come next. They say that it’s almost certain that there will a genetic variation of the virus that will render current vaccines ineffective. Those aren’t my words, that’s SAGE saying that.

“They say that, in terms of the milder disease with omicron—so, it’s been fairly mild compared to what we’ve had before—we’re unlikely to see that again; it’s more likely to be more like delta.

“Again, this is not me saying this, these are scientists saying this. It’s also telling us that we are likely to experience new waves of variants.

“So, let’s just be aware that, of course, we’re in a better place now, but dismantling the whole edifice is probably not a sensible idea.

“Obviously, we’ve got a lot of thinking to do, and we have got to understand that there is a very close relationship—indeed, a dependency, to an extent—with what happens in England, and so, what they decide will affect what we’re able to decide here.

“So, it is important, when we’re talking about learning to live with COVID, that we have to understand that it’s not just about what’s going on now, it’s what may or may not be coming around the corner at us in future.”

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: [email protected]
Latest News

  • Hot weather alert: AA issues car safety tips for drivers
  • Planning: Flintshire village church could be converted into three-bedroom home
  • Broughton: AMRC and Granada Cranes team up to boost Flintshire manufacturing

  • More...

    Hot weather alert: AA issues car safety tips for drivers

    News

    Planning: Flintshire village church could be converted into three-bedroom home

    News

    Broughton: AMRC and Granada Cranes team up to boost Flintshire manufacturing

    News

    Scam Alert: Over 600 reports of fake Screwfix emails

    News

    TV soap stars from Emmerdale take on Rob and Ryan’s second favourite club in charity match

    News

    North Wales MS pays tribute to RSPCA on its 200th anniversary

    News

    North Wales: Cherished Victorian-era hotel reopens doors following extensive refurbishment

    News

    Entrepreneurial University of Chester students and graduates share £7,000 of start-up funding

    News

    Flintshire schools explore nature through the Welsh language

    News