HEALTH minister Vaughan Gething has said no decision has been made yet on a fire break lockdown.

Mr Gething was asked about the subject on BBC Wales Politics this morning, after a leaked letter to transport operators from John Pockett, director of the transport union, Confederation of Passenger Transport Cymru detailed plans were in place for a two-week national lockdown.

The letter, first published on political blog Bubble.Wales, said the union had been told the Welsh Government would introduce a lockdown from 6pm on Friday until Monday, November 9, however it did stress "much of the detail" had not been agreed by ministers.


"We haven’t made any final decisions yet," said Mr Gething. "The first minister indicated taking very seriously the prospect of that, and the advice that supports taking that course.

"The local restrictions that we've introduced have had an impact in reducing the spread coronavirus, but the latest report from our technical advisory group shows they are not likely to be effective through the winter.

"We will need a different approach, but the details of what they are going to be we are still talking through. Ministers will meet again today and probably on Monday morning too. As soon as we have a definitive choice to make, then we will directly tell the people of Wales."

Mr Gething said said conversations were ongoing about the support available

"We are having a range of conversations with stakeholders," said Mr Gething. "We are having to work through, if we are going to do this, what will it look look like and how can we best support people.

"If we are going to have a fire break, we need to understand what would that look like, and what we would do to try and support businesses and people, and what comes afterwards.

"Part of our challenge is support for jobs and businesses is going to change on November 1. There will be a less generous scheme and it will only available if businesses are legally required to close.

"Lots of people don't have savings to see them through a long period of time, and that weighs very heavily on ministers when we make decisions.

"We are considering what we might be able to do with the resources, limited as they are, we have available to us in Wales.That's why Ken Skates and Rebecca Evans are considering what might be possible to do.

"Doing nothing means Covid will continue to grow and we will continue to see harm.

"Doing nothing isn't an option, but there isn't an easy choice."

Mr Gething added the Welsh Government were "seriously contemplating" introducing the fire break lockdown.

The health minister said he wanted to get to a point where "people can live their lives" over the winter.

"We are trying to work through what might happen," he said. "What we want to have is a sustainable pattern where people can live their lives - to have contact with people and to be able to carry with work - but to do so in a way where we don't see coronavirus rising in the alarming way that we have done in recent weeks.

"We want to be able to get to the end of the year with a pattern that people can live with because we understand there are lots of reasons why people look at December.

"What we can’t do is give people a guarantee that things will not happen during the winter. That depends on all the choices that we make."

Shadow health minister Andrew RT Davies MS called for an emergency meeting of the Senedd following the leak of the letter.

“The First Minister knew about this [on Friday], and while we all suspected this was going to happen, there was no point in delaying it being announced," he said.

“Instead, he chose to bypass the Welsh Parliament and Members not of his party, and first brief outside organisations about it. It shows incredible disrespect to the institution of the Welsh Parliament, the voters, and it demonstrates the downright and breath-taking arrogance we have come to expect from the First Minister and the Labour Party.

“Worse, they have actually misled the public and Members of the Welsh Parliament by saying yesterday that ‘no decisions had yet been taken’, when clearly they had.

“Labour’s contempt for democracy and the Welsh electorate is staggering, and I have written to the Llywydd to express our grave concerns over the First Minister’s actions.”