Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister
This morning, I took part in a UK-wide COBR meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland and the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.
The meeting discussed a series of UK-wide actions, which would be introduced collaboratively in each of the four nations to respond to an increase in coronavirus transmission.
I also welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to having a regular and reliable rhythm to UK-wide decision making – with the devolved governments having a clear and important role in that process.
In recent weeks, we have seen an overall rise in cases of coronavirus across Wales – that rise is not uniform. Some parts of Wales have seen a sharper and more pronounced increase in cases of the virus than other parts, which led to the introduction of local restrictions in six local authority areas in South Wales to protect people’s health.
At the last review of the coronavirus restrictions, we introduced new Wales-wide measures to help control the spread of the virus – these included the requirement for everyone over 11 to wear a face covering in an indoor public place and a new limit on the number of people who can meet indoors at any one time. In Wales, only six people from the same exclusive extended household group can meet indoors – extended households are currently suspended in the areas subject to local restrictions.
Each of the four UK governments today agreed about the need to take further coordinated, preventative action to control the spread of virus.
Some of these actions, such as the need for people to work from home wherever possible, are already in force in Wales and have been since late March. We also continue to encourage people to think very carefully about who they meet and whether they need to travel.
We will, however, be introducing some new measures in Wales, which will come into force at the same time as the rest of the UK and which are designed to help prevent a fresh coronavirus crisis
From Thursday at 6pm, hospitality businesses in Wales – including pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos – will have to close at 10pm. They will also have to provide table service only.
Off-licences, such as supermarkets, will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.
If we are to make difference to coronavirus in Wales, we need everyone’s help. We need everyone to follow the rules and guidance and to take the steps, which will not only protect them and their loved ones but will also keep Wales safe.