THERE are no current plans for Wales to enter any form of lockdown – firebreak or otherwise, as covid cases continue to rise.

However, first minister Mark Drakeford has stopped short of completely ruling out such measures in future.

Speaking at a Welsh government press conference earlier today (Friday, September 10), the first minister revealed that for the first time since January, there are more than 500 cases of the virus per 100,000 people in Wales, and more than 420 people in hospital.

And, according to the latest modelling data, the nation could soon be looking at 3,200 new cases of covid each day.

When asked if the latest figures could lead to further lockdown restrictions, the first minister would not be drawn into a definitive answer, instead listing the factors which influence the government’s decisions relating to the pandemic.

He stressed that the public also have a responsibility, through their own actions, to help ensure that no further restrictions need to be imposed.

For example, continuing to wear masks in settings where they are needed, and to isolate when unwell.

Mr Drakeford said: “Some of the actions that we can all take can help to make it continuingly to be not inevitable that we have to return to the sorts of restrictions that we saw earlier in the year.”

Continuing, he said that so long as the strain on the health service remains “difficult, but manageable”, there will be no need for a return to lockdown conditions.

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Statement from the first minister in full

Responding to questions at the press conference, Mr Drakeford said: “The metrics that we will use to decide the level of restrictions we need to have here in Wales are essentially the impact that coronavirus is having on our NHS.

“There is no doubt at all that vaccination means that for many people, when they do fall ill with coronavirus, it is a milder form of the illness, that can be managed in the community.

"Back in January this year I think 10 out of every hundred cases of coronavirus ended up in hospital whereas in the current wave, it is fewer than two out of 100.

"Vaccination has effectively and significantly eroded the relationship between people falling ill and needing hospital treatment.

“We're going to bolster that, we hope, with the autumn campaign of booster vaccination and there are other things that we can do as well, well short of the need to return to the sort of restrictions we saw it the start of the pandemic and again over last winter.

“But we look at the figures every single day, we look at the pressures that are there in the NHS, I’ve asked today very directly to people to think carefully about whether they need to visit a hospital, either for themselves, or to see others. Because every little thing that we do, in our own lives, cumulatively adds up to reducing pressure.

“And while the pressure on the NHS remains difficult but manageable, then we won’t need to see a return to the level of restrictions that we had to see earlier in the year.”