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Covid latest: Restrictions eased in Wales despite ‘growing concerns’ over Delta variant

Single dose coronavirus vaccine approved for use in UK

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The Welsh Government has confirmed groups of up to 30 people will be allowed to meet outside from Monday. In addition, three households will be allowed to form an extended bubble and large outdoor events can go ahead at limited capacity.

The Government has opted for a “phased” approach due to clusters of the Delta variant, which first emerged in India.

Restrictions on indoor household mixing will still apply from Monday, as the Welsh Government looks to vaccinate more people before easing measures.

Public Health Wales (PHW) has confirmed there are 97 cases of the variant in the country.

The figure represents a 67 percent rise compared to last week.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said outdoor measures can go ahead as data shows there is less of a risk of infection than there is indoors.

He added: “This is why we are phasing in the changes in this three-week cycle.

“This will allow more people to enjoy events outdoors and take advantage of the Welsh summer, while we continue to roll out the vaccination programme to all adults.

“We will review the public health situation again in a couple of weeks to see whether we can continue to relax the restrictions and restart indoor events.”

On Wednesday PHW said Llandudno Junction, Llandudno and Penrhyn Bay, all in Conway county, reported 35 cases of the Delta variant over the bank holiday weekend.

Eluned Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Ely and Welsh Government minister for health and social services, told BBC Wales: “This is becoming very serious; we need to make sure that we try and nip this in the bud in that particular area and obviously all of this will play into how we assess the situation on Friday.

“I don’t think we’d define it quite yet as community transmission, but it’s on its way to becoming that and that’s why we really need people in the area to co-operate with us…to make sure that we can try and suppress this particular variant.

“The last thing we want to see is this spreading across the whole of Wales.”

Wales has the highest vaccination rate in the UK as 2,161,028 people have been given a first vaccine dose, or 68.5 percent of the population.

In addition, 1,157,904 people have had a second jab, equalling 36.7 percent of the population.

The case rate in Wales is also 7.5 per 100,000 over the last seven days, but in Conway county, the rate is 22 per 100,000 due to its cluster of Delta variant cases.

Over the last week, Wales reported an average of 34 cases a day.

                     

          

It comes as Britain’s coronavirus vaccination programme continues at pace, with 172,763 first doses and 349,019 second doses of the jab administered yesterday.

So far, 39,758,428 first doses and 26,422,303 second doses of Covid vaccine have been administered, equalling 75.5 percent and 50.2 percent of the population respectively.

Yesterday also saw another 5,274 cases and 18 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.

In total, the UK has seen 4,499,878 cases and 127,812 deaths.

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