The first minister wants Covid restrictions in Wales to be in place for “as short a time as possible”.

Mark Drakeford said there had been “good news” shown in the latest Covid modelling, which shows a “rapid decline” in Omicron cases once the current wave of the virus peaks.

While Wales has not yet reached the peak of the wave, the first minister said restrictions would be reduced to “far more modest levels” as soon as possible.

He told Sky’s Trevor Phillips: “There is a little bit of good news in that the modelling we have shows a very steep rise in Omicron cases,” he said.

“We’re not at the top of that wave yet but once we get to the top, the modelling shows a relatively rapid decline from that peak as well.

“As soon as we are in a position to see the peak past and the position improving, of course we will want to revert to the far more modest level of protections we had in place only a few weeks ago.

“We’re hopeful that the level of protections we currently have in place will be sufficient to mitigate the impact of Omicron to help our NHS to deal with the astonishing pressures which it’s having to deal with every day.”

Don’t compare England and Wales Covid rates

Mr Drakeford added that it was “misleading” to compare the headline rates of coronavirus in Wales and England.

“There are parts of Wales which are much lower than other parts of Wales, and parts of Wales which are much lower than the hotspots in England,” he said.

“Comparing the whole of Wales and the whole of England simply doesn’t get to where the real nub of the issue lies.

“We are trying to make sure that we protect Wales from the onslaught of the Omicron variant, which has moved east to west coming into Wales later than in parts of England.

“Our rates are still lower than English hotspots and we’d like to do our very best to keep it that way.”