First Minister reiterates “five golden rules” as 5th review of lockdown regulations takes place later this week
The fifth review of coronavirus regulations in Wales will take place this week.
Every 21 days the Welsh Government reviews the various lockdown restrictions that have been in place since the end of March.
The findings of that review and an outline of what measures the public can expect to be eased will be announced on Friday.
Speaking at the daily Welsh Government briefing this afternoon, First Minister Mark Drakeford said ministers want to “restore freedoms as soon as possible”, but will only do so when the “threat of coronavirus has sufficiently receded”.
He added that so far the headroom available has so far allowed for some changes – this has included children returning to school before the summer holidays, the removal of the stay local restrictions and opening of non-essential retail.
Next week is also expected to see the reopening of self-contained accommodation in Wales, pubs, cafes and restaurants to open outdoors and hairdressers can take bookings if cases in Wales continue to fall.
At the height of the pandemic the first minister said that 45 per cent of tests processed by NHS Wales laboratories were positive. By June that had fallen to 3.5 per cent.
Today the first minister explained that any further loosening of the restrictions will depend on the scientific and medical advice about the transmission of coronavirus in Wales, the number of new and confirmed cases, how many people are dying or are being teated in intensive care; how the Test, Trace, Protect system is working, people’s compliance to the regulations and how the NHS can respond to the virus.
Mr Drakeford said: “The more we all stick to what we are being asked to do. The more of that headroom becomes available for us to use. where compliance falls away, then our ability to do new things falls away, as well.
“Because we continue in Wales, to lift the restrictions in a careful step by step away, we are able to look at the impact of the changes we have already made, and what we are learning from them.
“That final point is at the heart of the Welsh approach to easing lockdown. We take the advice we have received from the World Health Organisation and the scientific advisory group for emergencies very seriously. Both have underlined the importance of taking that step by step approach to easing restrictions.
“Because we do it that way, we have introduced changes gradually and progressively, learning from what we have done to enable us to go further as the conditions allow. During the three week period, which is concluding at the end of this week, we have introduced one major change every Monday, and that has given us an opportunity to review and learn from experience.”
He added: “It’s very easy to understand why people want certainty. All of our lives have been disrupted by coronavirus and it’s a long road back to anything approaching normality.
“But what we won’t do in the Welsh Government is to offer false hope, or the false security of far off dates in the future, which could be snatched away at the last moment by a virus that could suddenly change course, as we have seen it do elsewhere in the world.
“We must remain hopeful that we are over the worst, but we must also be realistic that we could yet see a further resurgence of coronavirus later in this year. That’s why the actions we all continue to take now will help us to protect ourselves and others in the future.
“It’s why we continue to advocate those five Golden Rules, avoid unnecessary travel, work from home wherever you can, keep our distance from one another; always wash our hands, only meet one other household outdoors unless you are taking advantage of the extended household arrangements that come into force today.”
You can view today’s Welsh Government briefing and Q&A session on the below video:
Yn fyw gyda'r Prif Weinidog, Mark Drakeford | Live with First Minister, Mark Drakeford https://t.co/1Nz1xYcqUD
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) July 6, 2020
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