WALES will remain under Alert Level Four lockdown restrictions until at least January 29, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.

Unless there is a significant reduction in cases of coronavirus before that date - when the next three-weekly review of the regulations will taker place - school and college students will continue to learn online until the February half-term holiday.

And supermarkets and other retailers deemed essential and allowed to remain open, may be ordered to introduce extra measures to protect staff and shoppers.

Following a formal review of the Alert Level Four lockdown restrictions which were introduced at midnight on December 19, all the measures that came into force at that time will remain in place.

This means non-essential retail, hospitality venues, licensed premises and leisure facilities will remain closed.

The measures will be strengthened to close all showrooms, though they will still be able to operate click and collect arrangements.

The Welsh Government is reviewing whether major supermarkets and retailers need to put additional measures in place to protect people in store - and ministers are also looking at what else employers might need to do to protect people in the workplace, and to support people to work from home.

The lockdown restrictions are being strengthened in these key areas to prevent the new and highly infectious strain of coronavirus spreading from person to person in the shops and workplaces which remain open.


Cases of coronavirus remain very high in Wales and the new variant strain of the virus, first identified in parts of Wales, London and south east England before Christmas, now has a firm foothold in north Wales.

Confirming the continuation of Alert Level Four restrictions, Mr Drakeford said everyone must stay at home to save lives, and added: “The coronavirus pandemic has reached a significant point. Cases in Wales remain very high and our NHS is under real and sustained pressure.

“The Alert Level Four restrictions we introduced before Christmas must remain in place to keep us all safe.

"To slow the spread of the virus, we all must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

“These feel like dark times but the new Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out across Wales, giving us a path out of this pandemic.

“It will take a huge effort to vaccinate everyone and, despite the end of this pandemic being in sight, it is more important than ever that we follow the rules and stay at home.

"We have made so many sacrifices together and we mustn’t stop now.”

During the ongoing lockdown, people in Wales are reminded to:

• Stay at home;

• Work from home if you can;

• Keep a two-metre distance from others;

• Wear a face covering in all indoor public places;

• Not meet anyone outside your immediate household or support bubble.

“This new strain adds a new and unwelcome dimension to the pandemic," saod Mr Drakeford.

“Wherever there’s mixing, wherever people come together, the new strain is spreading - it is highly transmissible and spreads very quickly from person to person.

“We all must stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives. Together, we will keep Wales safe.”