Europe

Highest COVID-19 rates in Wales may trigger new restrictions – ‘Pandemic far from over’

Patrick Vallance warns nation must be ready for COVID Plan B

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Recent figures have shown that Welsh Covid is far higher than anywhere else in the UK. According to the UK Government dashboard, the rate in Wales stood at 685.5 per 100,000 over seven days.

It has fallen from around 742.4 on October 20, but remains the highest in Britain.

Recent equivalent figures for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland stand at 480.5, 324.4 and 467.4, respectively.

First Minister Mark Drakeford released a statement on Thursday and is considering bringing back tighter restrictions.

He said COVID-19 cases have “risen sharply to the highest rates we have seen since the pandemic began and more people are falling so seriously ill that they need hospital treatment.”

“All this means that the pandemic is far from over.

“We need to take more action now to strengthen the measures we have in place at alert level zero to prevent coronavirus spreading even further and more people falling seriously ill.”

Mr Drakeford expressed his hope that the action would “help to turn the tide.”

“None of us wants to see a return to restrictions but if rates continue to rise, the cabinet will have no choice but to consider raising the alert level at the next review,” he continued.

The First Minister introduced a few changes to the current isolation guidance and reiterated that vaccines are the best defence against the virus.

Fully-vaccinated adults and children aged five to 17 will now be asked to isolate themselves until they get a negative PCR test if someone in their household has symptoms of the virus or tests positive.

Those who are not vaccinated will still have to isolate for ten days if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, including close contacts not in their household.

The Covid pass will be compulsory to enter theatres, cinemas and concert halls until November 15.

DON’T MISS: 
VDL’s texts to Covid drug boss to remain secret despite fury [REPORT] 
Pfizer booster jab: The third shot side effect [INSIGHT] 
France fears Britons spreading Covid [ANALYSIS]

Available to obtain online, the coronavirus vaccine passes are already required for nightclubs and many large events.

This requires people to provide proof of their vaccination status or evidence of a recent negative lateral flow test.

In schools, headteachers will get more support to quickly introduce measures if local rates are high.

Staff and secondary school students will also be encouraged to test themselves twice a week using lateral flow tests.

Unlike England, ministers have kept laws requiring people to wear masks in pubs, restaurants and other indoor public places, and still ask people to work from home.

Mark Drakeford will confirm his plans at a press conference on Friday.

“I am confident that over the coming weeks we will start seeing a drop,” Dr Fu-Meng Khaw, national director of health protection at Public Health Wales (PHW) told BBC Wales.

“We are looking at fairly high rates compared to other times in the pandemic response.

“But I feel that we are plateauing.”

Dr Khaw said the highest levels of Covid transmission were being seen among young adults and children in Wales.

Source: Read Full Article