Lockdown in Wales to continue for three more weeks

Thomas Hornall, PA
·1-min read

The lockdown will remain in force in Wales for another three weeks, First Minister Mark Drakeford will confirm.

He is also expected to say on Friday that primary school pupils may be able to begin returning to their desks after the February half-term if coronavirus rates continue to fall.

The Welsh Government said the Covid-19 situation is “improving” but another three weeks of Level 4 restrictions are needed to “allow the NHS to recover”.

The Welsh Government said there could be a “phased and flexible return to school after February 22 if the public health situation continues to improve”.

A statement said: “Rates of coronavirus across Wales have fallen below 200 cases per 100,000 people for the first time since early November.

“And every day, thousands more people receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine – the latest figures show almost 11% of the population have been vaccinated.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford
First Minister Mark Drakeford (Ben Birchall/PA)

Authorities review the situation every 21 days, and on Wednesday chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton said a Wales-wide easing of lockdown restrictions is unlikely until the end of February at the earliest.

The reproduction R value for the virus on Wednesday was said to be between 0.7 and 0.9, while figures from Public Health Wales showed that the country’s seven-day case rate stood at 204 cases per 100,000 people, down from 270 cases per 100,000 on Friday.