Wales told to stay at home as country goes into 'fire break' lockdown from Friday
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced that the country will go into a national lockdown from Friday until 9 November
Everyone will be asked to stay at home, with all pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops set to close over the two week period. The lockdown will begin at 6pm on 23 October.
People in Wales must work from home unless they are critical workers. Gatherings with people not from a single household will be banned, both indoors and outdoors. An exception is being made for those holding official Remembrance Sunday events.
Primary and special schools will reopen as normal after the half-term break, with secondary school pupils in Years 7 and 8 and those taking exams permitted to return to school. All other secondary school students will do an extra week of learning from home.
The First Minister said that the lockdown, described as a "fire break" was the country's "best chance to get control of the virus". Roughly 2.3 million people in Wales are already living under local lockdown restrictions.
“The firebreak is the shortest we can make it, but that means it will have to be sharp and deep to have the maximum impact on the virus," Drakeford said.
Calls for a similar 'circuit breaker' lockdown have been growing in England for some time. On Sunday Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said that he did not support the calls, and instead favoured the localised approach currently being implemented.
One of the UK's top advisors recently said that a three-week national lockdown was needed immediately in order to stop Covid cases spiralling out of control.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of health research-charity the Wellcome Trust and member of SAGE, said that introducing a national three-week lockdown is crucial to tackling the growing number of Covid-19 cases, and bringing the R number back down to 1.