HEALTH minister Vaughan Gething has warned that lockdown measures could return in Wales depending on  “people’s behaviour”.

Since Monday people have been allowed to meet others from one other household at a time, if they meet outside.

But Mr Gething said changes in the seasons could force a rethink.

“Some of the measures we’ve been able to unlock are because of the time of year we’re in,” Mr Gething said.

“But it was also because of the fact coronavirus lasts a lot less in direct sunlight outdoors, but it lasts much longer on indoor surfaces. So we do need to think about the fact we may have to reintroduce some lockdown measures in the winter. 

“That depends on the reservoir of coronavirus that exists, it depends on people’s behaviour, as well.

“There is not a hard or fast set of measures to reintroduce, but we’ll have to look at the evidence that we get.”

Mr Gething also called for people to start using the NHS more, and has revealed a 40 per cent fall in those visiting essential NHS services due to coronavirus fears.

He confirmed daily attendances at A&E departments are a third lower than in February, and the biggest decrease in activity has been among children under 16, where it has more than halved.

“It is really important people don’t put off urgent treatment, the NHS is open,” he said.

“We know people have put off seeking care because they have been worried about going to hospital during the pandemic.”

He revealed the equivalent of three full district general hospital patients are still suffering with Covid-19 in Wales today.


He said a review will be carried out, with details published tomorrow, as to whether field hospitals can be used for routine NHS work such as screening cancer patients.

Mr Gething said he wanted people to have access to screening as “soon as safely possible”.

“In the review that’s beino done they’re looking at how they are able to restart more planned operative activity,” he added.

“Some of that is about behaviour, both in terms of people wanting to come forward with symptoms, and the willingness to have people referred.”

As essential activity in the NHS starts again, the processes used to tackle the virus will continue for the long term. These processes include continuing telephone calls between a GP and patients in the main, as well as video link appointments. These have equated for three-quarters of GP referrals since the start of lockdown in Wales.

“We cannot go back to February where waiting rooms were packed with people on routine six-month repeat appointments,” he said.