Welsh Government announces new measures to fight Delta strain of Covid-19

Welsh Government has confirmed that planned further relaxations on pandemic restrictions have been temporarily suspended in order to fight the spread of the Delta strain of Covid-19.

While the proposed changes will now be reviewed in four weeks’ time, some amendments are being made around current requirements.

The number of people who can attend a wedding, civil partnership, reception or wake organised by a business within an indoors regulated premise will be determined by the size of the venue and outcome of a risk assessment.

Small, grassroots music and comedy venues will be able to operate on the same basis as hospitality venues such as pubs and cafes, and primary school children in the same school contact group or bubble will be able to stay overnight at a residential outdoor education centre.

Finally, pilot events within sectors such as the theatre and sports will continue.

Announcing the temporary suspension, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “In the space of just a few short weeks, the delta variant has entered Wales and has quickly spread throughout the country.

“It is now the most dominant variant in new cases in Wales. We are once again facing a serious public health situation.

“A four-week delay in relaxing restrictions could help to reduce the peak number of daily hospital admissions by up to half, at a time when the NHS is very busy supporting all our healthcare needs – not just treating coronavirus.

“This week, we reached the target of offering all eligible adults their first dose vaccine six weeks ahead of schedule, but those offers won’t help protect people unless everyone turns up for their first and second dose appointments.

“I would urge everyone to take up their invitation for a vaccine and to complete the full two-dose course. It’s the best way we can protect ourselves against this virus.”

Bridgend Council Leader, Cllr Huw David added: “We have been repeatedly urging residents not to let their guard down against the coronavirus, and it is now more important than ever to do all that we can to keep our communities safe.

“While Wales’ coronavirus case rate has risen steadily since the end of May and the positivity rate has more than doubled, it remains the lowest in the UK.

“We have a world-leading vaccine programme in place, and more than half a million doses are about to be deployed. We can support the fight against Covid-19 and the new Deltra strain by ensuring we receive both shots, and following simple rules designed to keep us safe.

“We must not become complacent – the pandemic is not over. If you choose to mix, do it outdoors rather than indoors wherever possible, and remember that the current outdoor limit is 30 people while the indoor limit is six people from six different households.

“Stay two metres away from people who are not in your extended household. Try to avoid travelling into areas with high rates of coronavirus, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face covering where required.

“Self-isolate and get a test if you or anyone in your household develop even mild symptoms, such as a high temperature, a continuous cough or a change in your sense of taste or smell.

“When visiting a shop, wear a face covering, use hand sanitiser, observe social distancing and follow any other safety precautions that may be in place.

“Participate with all track and trace procedures, and plan to holiday at home – only travel overseas if it is absolutely essential to do so.”

For more information, visit the Covid-19 advice page at the Bridgend council website.