Date : 31 January 2022
Thank you for your request which I received on 6 January 2022 and subsequent email dated 18 January which requested the ‘scientific data you are using currently’. I have set out at Annex 1, the questions you submitted. I can confirm the Freedom of Information Act only provides a right of access to information held at the time a request is made and as such, I will provide a response to the following areas that related to information held;
- Please justify the decision and provide the scientific information and data you utilised at the time to justify the decision
- Not just cases - but numbers in hospital and reasons/trends.
- Please produce figures to justify this decision along with statistics and comparable infection rates for venues ie pubs supermarkets etc
- Scientific data you are using currently’
Welsh Government Response:
1. Please justify the decision and provide the scientific information and data you utilised at the time to justify the decision
Throughout the pandemic our approach has been informed by the latest available scientific and medical advice. The Technical Advisory Cell (TAC) provides coordination of scientific and technical advice to support Welsh Government decision makers during emergencies.
TAC advice to Cabinet on 15 December is available below.
2. Not just cases - but numbers in hospital and reasons/trends.
Subsequently TAC provided a policy modelling update on 17 December. As requested, this document highlights COVID-19 case numbers and hospital admissions as well as modelling scenarios which were produced to assist with planning the health protection measures.
3. Please produce figures to justify this decision along with statistics and comparable infection rates for venues ie pubs supermarkets etc
I can confirm the Welsh Government does not hold this information as it is not possible to verify where a person becomes infected with Covid-19. Transmission of Covid-19 is strongly associated with proximity, duration and frequency of contact between individuals. SAGE highlighted the highest risks of transmission are associated with poorly ventilated and crowded indoor settings. As a result, hospitality settings such as pubs, bars, nightclubs and adult entertainment venues are considered high risk settings for transmitting COVID-19. I have attached a UK Government policy paper, which supports the view that ‘hospitality venues are a significant risk for transmission’.
Transmission risk in the hospitality sector - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The TAC papers below also highlight the significance of COVID-19 transmission in indoor, crowded and poorly ventilated settings.
4. Scientific data you are using currently
The latest TAC report which was used as part of the latest review of the Health Protection Measures outlines the scientific date that was used to inform the review;
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit
or e-mail: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.
The basis of the new controls/restrictions are based around the FM stating Omicron 'Probably just as severe as delta' despite 3 studies confirming Omicron was much less severe.
Please justify the decision and provide the scientific information and data you utilised at the time to justify the decision.
Not just cases - but numbers in hospital and reasons/trends.
In my opinion quite frankly this was a blatant lie to put fear into people’s minds unforgivable to put additional unnecessary pressures on people especially around the festive period.
Why such widespread disproportionate overbearing regulations? At a time when people have worked all year to enjoy the Christmas and New Year period. You have affected the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales. For nearly years now.
Please confirm your justification for such harsh restrictions on outdoor activities effectively stopping all outdoor events especially Parkruns. Exercise and relaxation is key to the health and wellbeing of the nation you just seem determined on control and undermining our economy and health as a nation.
Self-isolation period why not follow the UK scientific advice and reduce to 7 days.
For me its’ clear you are just doing things differently in Wales for political gain nothing to do with the science at all.
Why 2m social distancing in pubs and restaurants? Scotland have 1m plus. Your restrictions have a massive impact on venues throughout Wales and your compensation package inadequate.
Please produce figures to justify this decision along with statistics and comparable infection rates for venues ie pubs supermarkets etc.
You are destroying Wales on all levels. I suggest you and your cabinet attend an emergency planning course which will hopefully allow you to see the bigger picture rather than just control everyone with restrictions again and again.
Effectively you have now actually increased the contact of individuals by driving people away from controlled events to more indoor mixing at houses etc.
Further to my previous email please explain the scientific data you are using currently to continue with these draconian restrictions. We have had far higher infection rates than the rest of the UK with the most severe restrictions.
It is clear that England had the balance right in Wales we simply did not. More businesses struggling or closing down more mental stress and people stopped from meeting up and exercising outside
Politics not science continues to dominate - even Scotland are moving on based on the science. Only in Wales can we have the requirement to potentially self isolate forever if we have a cold.
There is no sense of balance or proportionality