Live updates as First Minister Mark Drakeford gives Welsh Government coronavirus briefing – WalesOnline

‘Cautious’ approach to lifting restrictions

Wales Health Minister Vaughan Gething has also been speaking this morning about what might happen when the next review of restrictions is held next week (February 19).

“When you look at the opinion surveys, most people are very cautious about moving out of lockdown,” he told BBC Radio Wales. “That is the view of the great majority of people.

“What we don’t want to do is have a rapid opening up and a rapid resurgence of the virus, and all the harm that would cause.

“On the headline transmission rates, it is good news that we are seeing a reduction in case rates and we are moving in the right direction, but critical care is still operating at 120%. Our ability to deal with another surge in cases is not significant.

“I would not want to see our National Health Service overwhelmed, after all we have done, to then throw it away, I think would be the worst thing possible.

“It is about looking forward with some optimism, but let’s now blow it now. Let’s stick with it in the last few months of having to live with the significant level of restrictions we have.

“It will be good news for us when they go in a way that is genuine and sustainable.”

Mr Gething said the return to school for the youngest children on February 22 would help to build confidence and would help to see what effect it will have.

He said he would not be drawn in speculation about what the first steps to lifting restrictions would be, and what Eater would look like.

“We have actually got the next few weeks to deal with return of face-to-face learning on February 22,” he said. “That in itself will be a big deal for lots of people in and around education. We will be able to monitor the impact of that and we will be able to make different choices as we move forward.

“We need some certainty rather than speculation. We will deal with schools first, that is the first place to spend our headroom. We will then consider other areas, but in a staged and properly cautious way, that won’t throw away the hard won progress that all of us have worked hard in delivering.”