Wales warned it could face yet another lockdown as Drakeford sets out new four-tier system

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Wales warned it could face yet another lockdown as First Minister Mark Drakeford sets out new four-tier system

Related tags: Wales, Coronavirus, lockdown

The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned that the country will go into full lockdown after Christmas if Coronavirus case numbers fail to drop.

Speaking at the Welsh Government's press conference earlier today (11 December), the First Minister set out details of a four-tier Covid alert system.

He said Wales was currently in the third tier of restrictions - labelled 'high risk' - and would move into the fourth tier - 'very high risk' - after Christmas unless the number of Coronavirus cases across the country started to fall.

Under the highest tier the country would face restrictions equivalent to the 'fire-break' lockdown it endured in late October and early November, with hospitality venues ordered to close.

Some reports suggest the lockdown could be introduced as early as 28 December, meaning pubs and restaurants would not be able to open for the usually lucrative New Year's Eve celebrations.

Currently Welsh hospitality businesses are allowed to open but banned from selling alcohol and bound by a 6pm curfew under tough new measures introduced earlier this month​.

The country currently has by far the highest Coronavirus infection rate of any part of the UK, as well as a Coronavirus death rate significantly higher than anywhere else in the UK.

Explaining the new system, Drakeford said: "The plan sets out four alert levels. We are at alert level three. The traffic light is red. The level of risk is very high.

"I must be clear with you – if the strengthened measures of last week and the extra actions of this week, together with the efforts of each and every one of us do not succeed in turning the tide of the virus – then it is inevitable that we will have to move to alert level four after Christmas."

An updated four-tier Coronavirus control plan for hospitality and other sectors will be published on Monday (14 December), with the alert system set to be debated in the Senedd on Tuesday (15 December).

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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