THE coronavirus pandemic will not be over by Christmas, first minister Mark Drakeford has said.

Mr Drakeford warned there would be a resurgence of Covid-19 transmissions across the UK during autumn and winter.

The comments appeared to reference prime minister Boris Johnson’s suggestion that there could be a “significant return to normality” in time for Christmas.


It came as Mr Drakeford announced that from Monday up to 30 people can meet outside while maintaining social distancing, while children under the age of 11 will no longer need to keep to the two-metre rule while outdoors.

On Friday, he told the Welsh Government’s press briefing: “It is thanks to the hard efforts of everyone in Wales that we have been able to control the spread of coronavirus and relax the restrictions. We can only continue to do this if everyone carries on this hard work.

“If we stop now, there is a real risk we will see new outbreaks of coronavirus and we may have to reverse some of these restrictions to control its spread again.

“We are facing the likelihood of a resurgence of the virus over the autumn and winter. This will not be over by Christmas.

“We all have an ongoing responsibility to keep Wales safe. This means maintaining social distancing, washing our hands often and thinking carefully about where we go, what we’re doing and why.”