No changes to Covid rules in Wales, Mark Drakeford says

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Wales’ First Minister has said there will be no changes to the nation’s Covid rules this week.

Mark Drakeford confirmed on Wednesday that restrictions would remain the same and the country would stay on alert level 0.

He thanked residents for helping to reduce record-high coronavirus case rates over the last three weeks.

But he warned of a fourth wave sweeping across Europe, and said extending the Covid Pass across the hospitality sector in future weeks remains an option should cases again soar.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

The case rate in Wales has fallen to 507.4 per 100,000 people, and is no longer the highest in the UK, having dipped slightly below Northern Ireland where the case rate is 509.2.

Mr Drakeford said: “Three weeks ago we were facing a very serious situation in Wales but everyone has pulled together and cases have fallen back from those record high levels.

“I want to thank everyone for their hard work and the steps they have taken to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Saying yes to the vaccine and crucially to the booster remains an essential step to help keep Wales safe,” he added.

“As we start to plan for Christmas we need to keep on working together to bring coronavirus under control. The pandemic hasn’t gone away – a fourth wave is sweeping across Europe, with many countries introducing stricter restrictions once again.

“We will do everything we can to keep Wales open and to keep Wales safe. This means keeping the option of extending the use of the Covid Pass if cases rise again and pandemic pressures on the NHS increase, to help keep the hospitality sector open and trading through the busy festive period.”

Owners of hard-hit hospitality businesses have repeatedly expressed fear at the possibility the Covid Pass scheme could be extended to include pubs and restaurants but the Welsh Government said it was committed to working with the sector to prepare for Christmas.

The next review of regulations will be announced in another three weeks on Friday December 10.

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