Posted: Fri 16th Oct 2020

Updated: Fri 16th Oct

First Minister says local restrictions ‘are making a difference’ but ‘are not going to be enough’ for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has said localised lockdowns will not be enough on their own to stem the ‘acceleration’ of the virus in Wales, and says without them the situation would already be a lot worse.

With the two week local lockdown review outcome published for Wrexham and other North Wales authorities earlier today, we asked the First Minister to expand on the public few lines, asking for details on how the outcome was reached for Wrexham and North Wales, what else was considered aside from the raw case figures, and what if any were the encouraging signs, and what was going wrong that meant figures were increasing.

With the local lockdown starting on October 1st with a two week review in place, we asked why it was the 16th before the update was issued.

The First Minister replied, “Well, the day on which the decision had to be made was yesterday and it was made in accordance with our timetable. It was made in consultation with local authorities, including all six North Wales local authority leaders.

“I met all 22 Leaders yesterday and one of the things that we discussed was whether they were any areas under local lockdown restrictions where those restrictions could be lifted in any way. I think that a strong consensus amongst us, or was given the context that I just described to people, that we were not at that point. That was true of North Wales Leaders as well. Of course, we had a discussion of it all and a number of points were raised by North Wales Leaders as well, but the outcome was the outcome I just reported to you.”

“Can I say it is not a matter of things going wrong? I’m looking at the figures in front of me of North Wales authorities and three authorities in North Wales are showing falls in the incidence rate today. They’re very modest falls and they are not strong enough for us to feel that now is the right moment to lift any of those local restrictions anywhere across Wales.”

“The local restrictions are working under, everybody is doing they are doing, local authority colleagues and well as citizens are making a difference. The problem is that the acceleration in the virus means that those measures by themselves are not going to be enough. If we didn’t have them, things will be far worse.”

“So thank goodness, we have worked with both local players and with local people to take the action that we have, we now need to go further and to do more. That is true of North Wales, as it is true of all parts of Wales.”

“Finally, as well as the raw numbers that you’ve just described, of course we look at positivity rates, the percentage of people who are being tested who turn out to be positive, and that too has been on the rise in Wales across the last couple of weeks.”

“So we now have a positivity rate across the whole of Wales, which has risen above 10% and positivity rates in North Wales have been rising as well, with two other authorities above 10%, and a number of others heading that way.”

“So all of that added up to the decision we took yesterday.”

“Now was not the moment to step back from the local restrictions which we are asking people to live with, to cooperate with. They are making a difference.”

You can view the full briefing on the below link, including the full Q&A session:

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