THE NHS in Wales is still under "significant pressure" despite having the lowest number of coronavirus patients since the start of the pandemic.

Wales began a two-step move to alert level one today (Monday), with restrictions eased on extended households, meeting outdoors and organised outdoor events.

First minister Mark Drakeford announced the changes on Friday, but also warned that although coronavirus levels in Wales were low, the NHS remains extremely busy.


"Here in Wales today the seven-day case rate continues to be very low - we have fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 people," said Mr Drakeford.

"Because we have such low rates in the community, we also have the lowest number of people in hospital in Wales suffering from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. But this certainly does not mean the health service in Wales isn't very busy.

"It is extremely busy responding to all the other health problems and the health emergencies people have and in catching up on work that has had to be postponed during the pandemic."

Nesta Lloyd Jones, assistant director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said: “It’s good news for everyone in Wales that the cautious easing of restrictions will continue as we move towards alert level one, with low levels of community transmission and coronavirus-related deaths providing us with this headroom.

“This has been made possible thanks to the fantastic support of the public and delivery of the vaccination programme. We cannot thank both the public and staff across health and care and beyond enough for all they’ve done throughout the pandemic.

“However, the NHS in Wales is still under a significant amount of pressure and we must remember that it’s the same staff from all corners of the system that we’re relying on to care for patients needing support. We’re currently experiencing extremely high levels of demand across the whole health and care system, including the ambulance service, in hospitals and in Primary Care. We need the public to use services responsibly to help us care for those who need it most.”

“The increased spread of the Delta variant serves as a reminder of the importance of sticking to the rules as we begin to socialise more, in particular social distancing. It’s not too late to take up the offer of a first dose of the Covid vaccine if you haven’t already done so and we urge the public to come forward for their second dose when invited.”