Lockdown restrictions in Wales have been extended for another three weeks.
Announcing the extension of alert level four measures, First Minister Mark Drakeford said residents must continue to stay at home to save lives.
Restrictions will be strengthened in some key areas to prevent the new, highly-infectious strain of the virus from spreading in the shops and workplaces that remain open.
The Welsh Government has also announced that unless there is a significant reduction in cases of coronavirus before 29 January – the date of the next three-week review of the regulations – school and college students will continue to learn online until the February half term.
Cases of coronavirus remain very high in Wales with a new variant strain of the virus, which spreads very quickly, circulating. Bridgend county borough currently has the highest rate of positive coronavirus tests in the Wales at 33.7%.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The coronavirus pandemic has reached a significant point. Cases in Wales remain very high and our NHS is under real and sustained pressure.
“The alert level four restrictions we introduced before Christmas must remain in place to keep us all safe. To slow the spread of the virus, we all must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
“These feel like dark times but the new Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out across Wales, giving us a path out of this pandemic.
“It will take a huge effort to vaccinate everyone and, despite the end of this pandemic being in sight, it is more important than ever that we follow the rules and stay at home. We have made so many sacrifices together and we mustn’t stop now.”
Under the alert level four lockdown restrictions, non-essential retail, hospitality venues, licensed premises and leisure facilities will remain closed.
The measures will be strengthened to close all showrooms. They will still be able to operate click and collect arrangements.
The Welsh Government is also reviewing whether major supermarkets and retailers need to put additional measures in place to protect people in store and what else employers need to do to protect people in the workplace and support people to work from home.
Bridgend County Borough Council Leader Huw David said: “During this lockdown, residents are reminded to stay at home, work from home if you can, keep a 2m distance from other, wear a face covering in all indoor public places and not meet anyone outside your immediate household or support bubble.
“The more that people mix, the more the new strain of Covid-19 can spread – it is highly transmissible and spreads very quickly from person to person. Please continue to stay at home to keep your friends, family and neighbours safe from this deadly virus.”