FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford will meet with Welsh Government ministers today to decide if more restrictions will be needed as Covid cases rise.

The Omicron variant has caused thousands of new cases in the UK.

The amount of cases are comparable to this time last year, when a lockdown was imposed - though vaccination had just begun then.

More restrictions have been confirmed from Monday, December 27, that include nightclubs closing, further safety measures elsewhere and the reintroduction of one way systems and two metre social distancing in workplaces.

Mr Drakeford spoke to BBC Radio Wales on Friday and said: "We are moving in terms of alert levels and those measures that will be put in place in shops, in offices, and so on, look like level two measures.

"It is inevitable that we will have to throw on things that are higher up that hierarchy, but it is not a wholesale move to level two.

"We will learn an awful lot more over the next 10 days.

"For some of those things (like restricting household meetings), we didn’t feel we had all the information we would need to be able to make those determinations at this point."

Far fewer people are in hospital due to the virus compared to last year, but ministers will decide if more restrictions are necessary to keep these numbers as low as possible.

However, Dr Giri Shankar, of Public Health Wales said on the BBC’s Politics Wales programme on Sunday: “We appear to be a week or two behind what London, most parts of England, and Scotland are seeing.

“Even that small proportion, in terms of its absolute number, is enough to tip the balance in the health and care system.”

Ministers will decide to impose limits on how many people can meet in venues and may introduce a 'rule of six' restriction.

Large sporting events could be affected, which threatens the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and the Scarlets v Dragons rugby match on Boxing Day.


Mr Drakeford said on BBC Radio Wales: "We’re getting further advice on Omicron and how it operates in the open air.

"When you have large crowds of people coming together, we have to weigh that up against the safeguards that are already there and will come to decisions on those matters on Monday and into next week.

"The cabinet decided that we needed some extra information about the way that the variant operates in the outdoors, particularly in places where there are already safeguards like the coronavirus pass in place.

"That information will develop and we will talk to the organisers of those big rugby derbies, the Welsh Grand National, and the football matches that are planned, and then we’ll come to some decisions on Monday as to how they can best go ahead."

An announcement on any further restrictions will be made later in the day.