By Luthien Evans | News Editor
As of November 9, COVID infection rates are ‘plateauing’, according to First Minister Mark Drakeford. This announcement follows the two week long ‘firebreak’ lockdown that had been enforced across Wales, that forced the closure of non-essential shops and businesses. This was enforced due to the peak in COVID patients in Welsh hospitals.
Drakeford further stated that another firebreak lockdown should not be needed with his ‘path through to Christmas’ plan. By adhering to proper social distancing guidelines, working from home when possible, and avoiding unnecessary contact, it would mean that the ‘plateauing’ progress can be built upon. He stated that it will be people’s ‘behaviour’ that would dictate if another firebreak lockdown is needed.
The firebreak lockdown’s impact is expected to be seen in the coming weeks, with a complete pattern being able to emerge.
The Welsh Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has stated that COVID cases in Wales are ‘levelling off’. However, he furthered his comments claiming that, ‘It’s [infection rates] still at a high rate which means that there’s still a reservoir of coronavirus within our communities.’
Mass testing is to be expected in high infection zones in Wales, including Merthyr and the valleys. Welsh Conservatives are suggesting local lockdowns in such high infection areas to prevent the need for further national firebreak lockdowns.
In talks with Sky News, Drakeford has announced that Michael Gove has promised a meeting between all four nations with the aim of ‘pooling ideas, planning together and having a common approach to the Christmas period”.