THOSE looking to finalise their Christmas plans will have to wait a while longer, health minister Vaughan Gething has warned.

Speaking at the Welsh Government press conference this afternoon, Mr Gething said a decision over what restrictions would apply over the holidays would not be made in the coming days or weeks.

Mr Gething said last week that guidance will be issued for families over the holiday period, however he has now said this will not be finalised for a number of weeks.


"We can't have a definitive view at this point about what Christmas might look like," said the minister. "It was a major for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains with the Diwali weekend that we've just gone through, and that's been a very different experience.

"That, in many ways, is like Christmas and New Year rolled into one for the rest of us. So it's already having a major impact on communal festivals and events where people would naturally gather together.

"Whatever happens with Christmas and the festive season this year, it won't be like normal.

"We are still discussing issues about where we can get to with other governments in the UK on travel, and we are still looking at the evidence on what we might be able to do around contact - but that does rely on the picture that we'll see and the developing evidence over the coming weeks.

"You shouldn't expect there to be a definitive statement in the next few days or weeks. We have quite a long way to go in the course of the pandemic before we get to the Christmas period."

Mr Gething praised retailers for restricting the number of people allowed into stores and imposing social distancing in queues when asked about pictures seen in city and town centres across Wales over last weekend - the first weekend since the end of the firebreak lockdown.

"We all need to play our part and I’ve seen some images where people have forgotten about social distancing, which is concerning," he added.

"Government rules will not keep people safe on their own, and we cannot go back to normal.

"How we act and the choices we make over the coming days and weeks will define the course of this virus.

"There’s a balance between how businesses act and how we as customers act.

"We’ve seen positive examples of how this can be implemented. But it’s also part of us making choices about where we go, how we go and when we go.

"It’s not about us trying to control people’s lives, it’s about us all making the right choices and playing our part to keep Wales safe."