In this page
- Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
- Rebecca Evans MS
- Lesley Griffiths MS
- Jane Hutt MS
- Julie James MS
- Jeremy Miles MS
- Eluned Morgan MS
- Hannah Blythyn MS
- Dawn Bowden MS
- Julie Morgan MS
- Lynne Neagle MS
- Lee Waters MS
- Vaughan Gething MS
- Mick Antoniw MS
- Andrew Goodall, Permanent Secretary
- Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
- Will Whiteley, Deputy Director Cabinet Division
- Toby Mason, Strategic Communications
- Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
- Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
- Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
- Daniel Butler, Special Adviser
- Ian Butler, Special Adviser
- Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser
- Sara Faye, Special Adviser
- Owen John, Special Adviser
- Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser
- Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser
- Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
- Christopher W Morgan, Head of Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
- Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
- Tracey Burke, Director General, Education and Public Services
- Reg Kilpatrick, Director General, COVID-19 Crisis Coordination
- Judith Paget, Director General, Health
- Andrew Slade, Director General, Economy Skills and Natural Resources
- Frank Atherton, CMO
- Chris Jones DCMO
- Rob Orford, Chief Scientific Officer – Health
- Fliss Bennee, Co-Chair TAC
- Liz Lalley, Director Recovery
- Tom Smithson, Deputy Director COVID-19 Restart
- Helen Lentle, Director Legal Services
- Dylan Hughes, First Legislative Counsel
- Jason Thomas, Director Culture, Sport and Tourism
Item 1: Review of Coronavirus Restrictions (No. 5) Regulations – Extension of the COVID pass
1.1 The First Minister introduced the paper, which outlined proposals and recommendations for the potential extension of the COVID pass into hospitality settings. Cabinet had agreed to return to this following the review of the Coronavirus Restrictions (No. 5) regulations on 15th November.
1.2 Ministers were reminded that the restrictions relating to COVID-19 within the Coronavirus Control Plan were for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence, spread of infection or contamination. There must be a threat to public health and the restrictions had to be proportionate in what they were intending to achieve.
1.3 The First Minister invited the Chief Medical Officer to provide an overview of the current public health situation.
1.4 It was reported that there was a high level of community transmission in Wales. Infection rates were following an undulating plateau trajectory, which was gradually improving. The 7 day average infection rate had just dipped below 500 in every 100,000 of the population. Cases were increasing in the 0-16 age range but decreasing in those over 60, which was reflected in hospital admission rates.
1.5 There were currently 641 COVID-19 patients occupying hospital beds, which was 14% less than the previous week. There were 394 confirmed cases, which had reduced by 16% over the previous week.
1.6 With the high take up of vaccines, the continued roll-out of the booster programme, reducing infection rates in the elderly and stability within care homes, the CMO was cautiously optimistic that the surge in cases across mainland Europe would not spread to the UK.
1.7 Members of TAC were of the same opinion but highlighted the need to remain vigilant and monitor infection scenarios further afield, such as in South Africa.
1.8 In terms of other developments, it was noted that, despite earlier signals to the contrary, the Scottish Government had decided not to extend the use of its vaccine passport.
1.9 Ministers agreed that, under the scenarios previously considered by Cabinet, the health context appeared to support the COVID Stable scenario and concluded there should be no extension to the use of the COVID pass at this stage.
1.10 The narrative surrounding the announcement should make clear this was not a relaxation of the rules and COVID-19 remained a very real threat and people should be extra vigilant and continue to take precautions to avoid the need to move to COVID Urgent.
1.11 Cabinet agreed that officials should proceed in line with the decisions taken by Ministers and instruct lawyers accordingly.