Wales will be locked down at midnight tonight, and the Christmas relaxation has dropped to just one day

The rules according to which two households can come together for a Christmas bubble over a period of five days only apply on Christmas Day, said the First Minister

Non-essential retail stores, close contact services, gyms, leisure centers, and hospitality businesses will close at end of trade today Home stay restrictions will go into effect from midnight

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put much of the south-east of England into a much stricter lockdown and banned travel to these Tier 4 areas over Christmas

The change in plans comes after it became known that a new strain of Covid-19 is particularly virulent in south-east Wales and south-east England

“We now know that this new strain is far more contagious and spreading faster than the original,” said Mark Drakeford

“This is remarkably consistent with the rapid acceleration in transmission in Wales and the high case rates we have seen over the past few weeks”

“We have therefore made the difficult decision to move forward the Wales level four restrictions in line with the measures taken in London and the south-east of England,” he said

“These new restrictions will take effect at midnight instead of the Christmas season

“This means that non-essential retail stores, close contact services, gyms and recreation centers, and hospitality businesses will close at the end of trade today

“Unfortunately, we also have to look again at the preparations for Christmas – we cannot expose people to the risk of this new, more virulent strain of coronavirus

“We are therefore changing the current rules that allow two households to come together in a Christmas bubble over a period of five days so that they only apply on Christmas Day”

When the First Minister announced that Wales would have restrictions in place from midnight, Plaid Cymru Chairman Adam Price replied that it was the right call

“Given the best scientific advice possible, it is right to take decisive action to bring the magnitude of the cases under control, save lives and ease the increasing pressure on the NHS

“For these reasons, we called on the Welsh government to act earlier this week – rather than delaying a decision that always seemed inevitable

“The introduction of new, tighter restrictions will no doubt be a disappointment to those who had planned to see friends and family over the Christmas season

“However, we all have a responsibility to protect one another. While we are again being asked to make sacrifices during what is usually a sociable time of year, our collective efforts are required, especially as a new variant of Covid-19 has been identified.” p>

“Nobody wanted a Christmas like this. This recent lockdown will heighten the need to roll out the vaccine quickly, increase funding for those who are self-isolating, and introduce a support package that will allow companies to go fully into hibernation change ”

Paul Davies MS, chairman of the Welsh Conservatives, said he supported the new restrictions announced tonight

“Having been informed today by the First Minister, I fully appreciate the need for tighter restrictions in Wales, especially when infection rates are high and the new strain of virus is circulating,” he said

“I know many people will be disappointed as they looked forward to seeing loved ones for Christmas, but given the emerging evidence, it is clear that the arrangements for Christmas bubbles need to change

“By working together and following the rules, we can ensure that as many people as possible celebrate Christmas together in the years to come”

Today I met First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland and Michael Gove from the UK Government to discuss the latest information on a new strain of coronavirus

We now know that this new strain is far more contagious and spreading faster than the original

Many of you will have heard this afternoon the Prime Minister set out the pattern of transmission in London and the South East of England that has been linked to this new variant of the coronavirus

This is remarkably consistent with the rapid acceleration in transmission in Wales and the high case rates that we have seen over the past few weeks

During the public health emergency, we had to respond quickly to the rapid changes that were so typical of the coronavirus

Cabinet met this afternoon to discuss this worrying new development in the pandemic and to receive the latest advice from our senior medical and scientific advisers, including the implications for our NHS

We have therefore made the difficult decision to move forward with the Wales Level Four Alert Restrictions in line with the measures taken in London and the South East of England

These new restrictions come into effect at midnight instead of the Christmas season

This means that non-essential retail stores, close contact services, gyms and recreational centers, and hospitality will close at the end of today’s trade

Unfortunately, we also have to take another look at the preparations for Christmas – we cannot put people at risk of this new, more virulent strain of coronavirus

We are therefore changing the current rules that allow two households to come together in a Christmas bubble over a period of five days so that they only apply on Christmas Day

During the entire fourth alert, a single household can join another household

While we all want to avoid further disruption to business and Christmas plans, our overriding duty is to protect life here in Wales

We will continue to protect ourselves and our loved ones and together protect Wales

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World News – UK – Wales lockdown at midnight and Christmas relaxation reduced to one day – NationCymru

Source: https://nation.cymru/news/wales-to-go-into-lockdown-at-midnight-and-christmas-relaxation-reduced-to-one-day/