A THIRD wave of coronavirus in Wales is 'guaranteed' - but will not require a lockdown or firebreak, Mark Drakeford has said.

The first minister was speaking at today's coronavirus briefing when he was asked about the plans for a third wave.

Mr Drakeford said a third wave in Wales was "guaranteed", and a matter of "when and how" rather than if.

However, the Welsh Governments modelling currently shows a third wave being far less severe than previous waves.

As a result, Mr Drakeford said, no further lockdowns will be necessary.

He explained: "The good news at the moment is that all the modelling shows that when the third wave happens, the peak of it will be so much lower than it was in the first and second waves.

"It shows that our NHS will not be overwhelmed by it and that we will manage it without the need for the very blunt instruments of firebreaks and lockdowns that we requirement earlier in the global crisis.

"That does demand though, that we continue to suppress the virus as much as we can and maximise the protection that vaccination offers.

"If we can do that we will be able to cope with it by means other than those we have needed to do so far."

Mr Drakeford said that he was "very confident" the vaccines were breaking the link between the virus and hospitalisations, as far as the Kent variant was concerned.

That was one reason the models suggested a third wave wouldn't require a lockdown, though they are consistently updated.


The first minister also said that if setbacks did occur, the Welsh Government would reverse the easing of some restrictions if that was necessary.

Mr Drakeford added: "We have never ruled out taking local actions to deal with hotspots and flare ups of the virus.

"If circumstances needed further measures or reversing freedoms, that is what we will do.

"The whole way through we have tried to follow the best public health advice that we get.

"If measures are needed to protect the health of local populations that is what we will do.

"If we do face set backs we will respond to them to make the population as safe as we can.

"We do not want to, of course not, but people can be assured in Wales that if measures are necessary to keep you safe the Welsh Government will take them."