A NEW funding boost of £682 million to support coronavirus efforts in Wales over the coming months has been announced by the first minister.

The package includes more than £635 million for the NHS and local councils to help them support the people of Wales over the next six months.

The money will support the country's vaccination programme, as well as testing and tracing set ups.

The package also includes an additional £206.5 million for the Local Government Hardship Fund, supporting vital social care services and ensuring schools are able to adapt to their new ways of working.

A further £10.5 million will extend the Discretionary Assistance Fund, providing support for the most vulnerable people in Wales.

In addition, there will be extra support for apprenticeships, with an extra £16.5 million investment and a further £18.6 million to maintain public transport provision.

First minster Mark Drakeford said: “Throughout the pandemic, the role of our public sector partners – our NHS and local authority colleagues – has been nothing short of heroic. In a uniquely Welsh way, the public sector has worked together to protect the people of Wales.

“This significant package of investment we are announcing today will help support our crucial public services during the toughest of times until this crisis is over.”


Speaking at the Welsh Government's coronavirus briefing this afternoon, Mr Drakeford added: "This boost of funding will support our world leading vaccination program, so we can protect as many people as quickly as possible, it will boost our testing capacity and bolster our successful contact tracing programme.

"It will extend the local government hardship fund and support, particularly, our social care services and schools. It will provide extra support for apprenticeships, which are a crucial part of our economic recovery, and it will help to maintain vital public transport services."

Finance minister Rebecca Evans will provide further details about the additional funding when she publishes the Welsh Government’s final budget tomorrow.